Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Optimally Polarized

24.09.2014

Foundations of continuous hyperpolarization explained – new method could pave the way for mobile MRI devices

An international research team led by Dr. Jan-Bernd Hövener from the Medical Physics Section of the Department of Radiology at the Medical Center – University of Freiburg has developed a new, cost-efficient method for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Now the scientists have elucidated the underlying mechanism of the new method in the renowned journal CHEMPHYSCHEM. As a comparison of theoretical simulations with experimental results demonstrates, the basic mechanism is now explained. The method could enable high-resolution MRI images even without expensive high-powered magnets.

The thorough investigation of all relevant factors is an important step toward understanding the new effect, which could lead to the development of new MRI devices for conducting cost-effective chemical analyses as well as precise diagnoses in remote areas – reason enough for CHEMPHYSCHEM to print the study on the inside cover.

Magnetic resonance imaging is a technique that can be used to create cross-sectional images of soft tissue structures inside the body without harmful radiation. MRI devices align a part of the magnetic moments of the hydrogen atoms in the body tissue in an artificial magnetic field and stimulate them with radio-frequency waves, whereupon they return to their original state.

Different signals are sent out depending on the structure and water content of the tissue, forming the basis for calculating the image. The technique usually requires very expensive magnets in order to achieve a sufficiently strong signal. The newly developed continuous hyperpolarization method enables MRI devices to align a much larger part of the hydrogen atoms in lower magnetic fields.

Even in a very weak magnetic field created with a simple battery, the signal is one hundred times stronger than in conventional MRI devices currently in use at hospitals. In addition, thanks to parahydrogen the polarization effect remains available for as long as needed: Normal hydrogen gas, whose atomic nuclei are in a special quantum state, causes the polarization to renew itself after each measurement by means of a chemical exchange reaction, thus enabling multiple images.

In their current study, the Freiburg researchers are searching for the factors responsible for influencing this effect of continuous hyperpolarization: “We’re looking for the optimal conditions for this method. The comparison between theoretical simulation and experimental results shows that the retention time (temperature) and concentration of the parahydrogen play a role as well as the strength of the magnetic field,” says Hövener, who conducts his research at the Medical Physics Section of the Department of Radiology at the Medical Center – University of Freiburg. “It was important to understand
this new effect before speculating about biomedical applications. Fortunately, this is now the case.”

Hövener’s research has attracted great interest: His publication last year in Nature Communications won him second place in the competition for the Klee Foundation Prize of the German Society for Biomedical Engineering (DGBMT), which will be awarded in October at DGBMT’s annual meeting in Hanover.

The German Research Foundation (DFG) is providing the Freiburg medical physicist funding to establish his own research group within the context of the Emmy Noether Program. Hövener has set a clear research goal for the group: “We want to develop new hyperpolarization methods and thus take on the challenges of modern diagnostics. Ultimately, our goal is to develop new methods for identifying and observing diseases earlier, more affordably, and better.”

Title of original publication: Continuous Re-hyperpolarization of Nuclear Spins Using
Parahydrogen: Theory and Experiment
doi: 10.1002/cphc.201402177
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cphc.201402177/abstract

Contact:
Dr. Jan-Bernd Hövener
Hyperpolarization Group Leader
Medical Physics, Department of Radiology
Medical Center – University of Freiburg
Phone: +49 (0)761 270-93910
jan.hoevener@uniklinik-freiburg.de
www.hyperpolarisation.net
Twitter: @hyperpolarise

Inga Schneider | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.uniklinik-freiburg.de

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Virtual Reality in Medicine: New Opportunities for Diagnostics and Surgical Planning
07.12.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht 3-D printed kidney phantoms aid nuclear medicine dosing calibration
06.12.2016 | Society of Nuclear Medicine

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>