Producing Radical-Free Hyperpolarized Perfusion Agents for In Vivo Magnetic Resonance Using Spin-Labeled Thermoresponsive Hydrogel
Dissolution dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) provides a way to tremendously improve the sensitivity of nuclear magnetic resonance experiments. Once the spins are hyperpolarized by dissolution DNP, the radicals used as polarizing agents become undesirable since their presence is an additional source of nuclear spin relaxation and their toxicity might be an issue. This study demonstrates the feasibility of preparing a hyperpolarized [1-(13) C]2-methylpropan-2-ol (tert-butanol) solution free of persistent radicals by using spin-labeled thermoresponsive hydrophilic polymer networks as polarizing agents. The hyperpolarized (13) C signal can be detected for up to 5 min before the spins fully relax to their thermal equilibrium. This approach extends the applicability of spin-labeled thermoresponsive hydrogel to the dissolution DNP field and highlights its potential as polarizing agent for preparing neat slowly relaxing contrast agents. The hydrogels are especially suited to hyperpolarize deuterated alcohols which can be used for in vivo perfusion imaging.