Rej E, Gaebel T, Boele T, Waddington D, Reilly D. Hyperpolarized Nanodiamond with Long Spin Relaxation Times. ARXIV. 2015.
The use of hyperpolarized agents in magnetic resonance (MR), such as 13C-labeled compounds, enables powerful new imaging and detection modalities that stem from a 10,000-fold boost in signal. A major challenge for the future of the hyperpolarizaton technique is the inherently short spin relaxation times, typically < 60 seconds for 13C liquid-state compounds, which limit the time that the signal remains boosted. Here, we demonstrate that 1.1% natural abundance 13C spins in synthetic nanodiamond (ND) can be hyperpolarized at cryogenic and room temperature without the use of toxic free- radicals, and, owing to their solid-state environment, exhibit relaxation times exceeding 1 hour. Combined with the already established applications of NDs in the life-sciences as inexpensive fluorescent markers and non-cytotoxic substrates for gene and drug delivery, these results extend the theranostic capabilities of nanoscale diamonds into the domain of hyperpolarized MR.