Lingwood, M.D., et al., Continuous flow Overhauser dynamic nuclear polarization of water in the fringe field of a clinical magnetic resonance imaging system for authentic image contrast. J. Magn. Reson., 2010. 205(2): p. 247-254
We describe and demonstrate a system to generate hyperpolarized water in the 0.35 T fringe field of a clinical 1.5 T whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) magnet. Once generated, the hyperpolarized water is quickly and continuously transferred from the 0.35 T fringe to the 1.5 T center field of the same magnet for image acquisition using standard MRI equipment. The hyperpolarization is based on Overhauser dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP), which effectively and quickly transfers the higher spin polarization of free radicals to nuclear spins at ambient temperatures. We visualize the dispersion of hyperpolarized water as it flows through water-saturated systems by utilizing an observed -15-fold DNP signal enhancement with respect to the unenhanced 1H MRI signal of water at 1.5 T. The experimental DNP apparatus presented here is readily portable and can be brought to and used with any conventional unshielded MRI system. A new method of immobilizing radicals to gel beads via polyelectrolyte linker arms is described, which led to superior flow Overhauser DNP performance compared to previously presented gels. We discuss the general applicability of Overhauser DNP of water and aqueous solutions in the fringe field of commercially available magnets with central fields up to 4.7 T.