Reynolds, S., et al., A system for accurate and automated injection of hyperpolarized substrate with minimal dead time and scalable volumes over a large range. J Magn Reson, 2013. 239C(0): p. 1-8.
Over recent years hyperpolarization by dissolution dynamic nuclear polarization has become an established technique for studying metabolism in vivo in animal models. Temporal signal plots obtained from the injected metabolite and daughter products, e.g. pyruvate and lactate, can be fitted to compartmental models to estimate kinetic rate constants. Modeling and physiological parameter estimation can be made more robust by consistent and reproducible injections through automation. An injection system previously developed by us was limited in the injectable volume to between 0.6 and 2.4ml and injection was delayed due to a required syringe filling step. An improved MR-compatible injector system has been developed that measures the pH of injected substrate, uses flow control to reduce dead volume within the injection cannula and can be operated over a larger volume range. The delay time to injection has been minimized by removing the syringe filling step by use of a peristaltic pump. For 100mul to 10.000ml, the volume range typically used for mice to rabbits, the average delivered volume was 97.8% of the demand volume. The standard deviation of delivered volumes was 7mul for 100mul and 20mul for 10.000ml demand volumes (mean S.D. was 9 ul in this range). In three repeat injections through a fixed 0.96mm O.D. tube the coefficient of variation for the area under the curve was 2%. For in vivo injections of hyperpolarized pyruvate in tumor-bearing rats, signal was first detected in the input femoral vein cannula at 3-4s post-injection trigger signal and at 9-12s in tumor tissue. The pH of the injected pyruvate was 7.1+/-0.3 (mean+/-S.D., n=10). For small injection volumes, e.g. less than 100mul, the internal diameter of the tubing contained within the peristaltic pump could be reduced to improve accuracy. Larger injection volumes are limited only by the size of the receiving vessel connected to the pump.