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  • 1
    Abstract: The hyperpolarization of nuclear spins promises great advances in chemical analysis and medical diagnosis by substantially increasing the sensitivity of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Current methods to produce a hyperpolarized sample, however, are arduous, time-consuming or costly and require elaborate equipment. Recently, a much simpler approach was introduced that holds the potential, if harnessed appropriately, to revolutionize the production of hyperpolarized spins. It was reported that high levels of hyperpolarization in nuclear spins can be created by irradiation with a laser beam carrying orbital angular momentum (twisted light). Aside from these initial reports however, no further experimental verification has been presented. In addition, this effect has so far evaded a critical theoretical examination. In this contribution, we present the first independent attempt to reproduce the effect. We exposed a sample of immersion oil or a fluorocarbon liquid that was placed within a low-field NMR spectrometer to Laguerre-Gaussian and Bessel laser beams at a wavelength of 514.5nm and various topological charges. We acquired (1)H and (19)F NMR free induction decay data, either during or alternating with the irradiation that was parallel to B0. We observed an irregular increase in NMR signal in experiments where the sample was exposed to beams with higher values of the topological charge. However, at no time did the effect reach statistical significance of 95%. Given the measured sensitivity of our setup, we estimate that a possible effect did not exceed a hyperpolarization (at 5mT) of 0.14-6%, depending on the assumed hyperpolarized volume. It should be noted though, that there were some differences between our setup and the previous implementation of the experiment, which may have inhibited the full incidence of this effect. To approach a theoretical description of this effect, we considered the interaction of an electron with a plane wave, which is known to be able to induce electronic (e.g. in rubidium) and subsequent nuclear hyperpolarization. Compared to the plane wave, the additional transitions caused by a twisted wave are of the order of 10(-3) less. This suggests that the twist of the laser is unlikely to be responsible for the hyperpolarization of nuclear spins, unless a new mechanism of momentum transfer is identified.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 27179228
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  • 2
    Abstract: PURPOSE: To demonstrate the feasibility of an algorithm for MRI whole-body quantification of internal and subcutaneous fat and quantitative comparison of total adipose tissue to air displacement plethysmography (ADP). MATERIALS AND METHODS: For comparison with ADP, whole-body MR data of 11 volunteers were obtained using a continuously moving table Dixon sequence. Resulting fat images were corrected for B1 related intensity inhomogeneities before fat segmentation. RESULTS: The performed MR measurements of the whole body provided a direct comparison to ADP measurements. The segmentation of subcutaneous and internal fat in the abdomen worked reliably with an accuracy of 98%. Depending on the underlying model for fat quantification, the resultant MR fat masses represent an upper and a lower limit for the true fat masses. In comparison to ADP, the results were in good agreement with rho 〉/=0.97, P 〈 0.0001. CONCLUSION: Whole-body fat quantities derived noninvasively by using a continuously moving table Dixon acquisition were directly compared with ADP. The accuracy of the method and the high reproducibility of results indicate its potential for clinical applications. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2014;40:1437-1444. (c) 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24449401
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  • 3
    Abstract: Early and reliable detection of pulmonary embolism (PE) is critical for improving patient morbidity and mortality. The desire for low-threshold screening for pulmonary embolism is contradicted by unfavorable radiation of currently used computed tomography or nuclear techniques, while standard magnetic resonance imaging still struggles to provide sufficient diagnostic sensitivity in the lung. In this study we evaluate a molecular-targeted contrast agent against activated platelets for non-invasive detection of murine pulmonary thromboembolism using magnetic resonance imaging. By intravenous injection of human thrombin, pulmonary thromboembolism were consistently induced as confirmed by immunohistochemistry of the lung. Magnetic resonance imaging after thrombin injection showed local tissue edema in weighted images which co-localized with the histological presence of pulmonary thromboembolism. Furthermore, injection of a functionalized contrast agent targeting activated platelets provided sensitive evidence of focal accumulation of activated platelets within the edematous area, which, ex vivo, correlated well with the size of the pulmonary embolism. In summary, we here show delivery and specific binding of a functionalized molecular contrast agent against activated platelets for targeting pulmonary thromboembolism. Going forward, molecular imaging may provide new opportunities to increase sensitivity of magnetic resonance imaging for detection of pulmonary embolism.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 27138487
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  • 4
    Abstract: In this work, we illustrate a method to continuously hyperpolarize a biomolecule, nicotinamide, in water using parahydrogen and signal amplification by reversible exchange (SABRE). Building on the preparation procedure described recently by Truong et al. [ J. Phys. Chem. B , 2014 , 118 , 13882 - 13889 ], aqueous solutions of nicotinamide and an Ir-IMes catalyst were prepared for low-field NMR and MRI. The (1)H-polarization was continuously renewed and monitored by NMR experiments at 5.9 mT for more than 1000 s. The polarization achieved corresponds to that induced by a 46 T magnet (P = 1.6 x 10(-4)) or an enhancement of 10(4). The polarization persisted, although reduced, if cell culture medium (DPBS with Ca(2+) and Mg(2+)) or human cells (HL-60) were added, but was no longer observable after the addition of human blood. Using a portable MRI unit, fast (1)H-MRI was enabled by cycling the magnetic field between 5 mT and the Earth's field for hyperpolarization and imaging, respectively. A model describing the underlying spin physics was developed that revealed a polarization pattern depending on both contact time and magnetic field. Furthermore, the model predicts an opposite phase of the dihydrogen and substrate signal after one exchange, which is likely to result in the cancelation of some signal at low field.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 27228166
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