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Hyperpolarized MRI Technology Resource Center

Daniel Vigneron, Ph.D.

Center Overview

Hyperpolarized MRI using Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP) is a powerful new imaging technique which uses specialized instrumentation to provide signal enhancements of over 5-orders of magnitude for carbon-13 enriched compounds. The resulting hyperpolarized solution then can be injected in a MR scanner to detect rapidly not only the uptake of the targeted molecule but also its metabolic products in vivo using rapid 13C MR acquisitions. Through the initial HP MR studies, it has become clear to us that hyperpolarized 13C MR has outstanding research value, but also that virtually all aspects of this technology (instrumentation, agent chemistry, DNP/dissolution methodology, MR acquisition, and data analysis) are currently suboptimal and require major technological development to realize their full potential.  This motivation, coupled with the rapidly expanding interest at other sites (over 30 sites with DNP polarizer), compelled us to create the â??Hyperpolarized MRI Technology Resource Center.â? This center is based on three Technology Resource & Development (TR&D) projects led by three highly experienced hyperpolarized MR researchers. TR&D1 led by Professor Dan Vigneron is focused on DNP polarizer and MR acquisition development for pre-clinical animal studies. TR&D2 led by Professor John Kurhanewicz focuses on new methods for hyperpolarized cell & tissue bioreactor studies and the investigation of new hyperpolarized substrates with tissue histochemical, enzymatic and genetic assay correlations. TR&D3 led by Professor Sarah Nelson focuses on the development of specialized data analysis techniques for hyperpolarized MR data reconstruction and interpretation. The center includes five DNP instruments sited along with 3 NMR instruments and 2 MRI scanners for preclinical HP MR cell, tissue, and animal studies. The TR&D projects utilize the unique HMTRC technological resources to develop new hyperpolarized methods driven by close interactions with the Collaborative Projects investigating preclinical models of a variety of human diseases. These methods and analysis software are provided to the Service Project researchers as well as to the hyperpolarized imaging research community via the website and in person via center visits including a biennial hands-on workshops. This center is developing new HP techniques and disseminating them nationally and internationally with the goal of significantly improving the quality and maturation rate of this powerful new MR molecular imaging technology.


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Hyperpolarized MRI Technology Resource Center

SIVIC is an open-source, standards-based software framework and application suite for processing and visualization of DICOM MR Spectroscopy data. Through the use of DICOM, SIVIC aims to facilitate the application of MRS in medical imaging studies.