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MEsmerizing Thermal Annihilation Method to Obliterate Radicals PHOtoinduced in Substances for Increasing Spin polarization

Project description

Photo-induced free radicals advance hyperpolarised magnetic resonance imaging

Hyperpolarised (HP) 13C magnetic resonance imaging is a powerful functional medical imaging technique for probing perfusion and metabolism. It is enabled by techniques for the hyperpolarisation of 13C-containing molecules using dynamic nuclear polarisation and rapid dissolution to create an injectable solution. Dynamic nuclear polarisation involves the use of free radicals. Their presence prevents the storage and transport of HP 13C molecules, which therefore have to be prepared a few minutes prior to injection. The EU-funded METAMORPHOSIS project will extend prior work that demonstrated hyperpolarisation through photo-induced free radicals. Its aim is to develop and commercialise devices compatible with the creation and annihilation of photo-induced free radicals in a controlled and reproducible manner.


The use of hyperpolarized 13C magnetic resonance (HP 13C MR) to perform radiological scans can provide novel information for medical diagnostic purpose. HP 13C-molecules are injected intravenously and allow performing metabolic imaging, highlighting diseased tissues and treatment response. HP 13C-urea is also a potential nontoxic alternative to gadolinium-based contrast agents for MRI. Hyperpolarization aims at dramatically increasing the 13C MR signal by dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP), which requires the use of free radicals. The presence of free radicals prevents the storage and transport of HP 13C-molecules which thus need to be prepared a few minutes prior to injection using hot water as dissolution medium. Within the framework of the ASSIMILES project, it was already demonstrated that by using photo-induced free radicals, HP 13C-molecules can be polarized and then extracted in the form of frozen solution following the annihilation of the free radicals.
The aim of METAMORPHOSIS is to implement and commercialize devices compatible with the creation and annihilation of photo-induced free radicals in a controlled and reproducible manner, and that can be easily transferred in and out of a cryogenic environment. This innovation is expected to lead to a paradigm shift for 3 main reasons: (a) it will eliminate critical failures related to the dissolution process currently used to prepare doses of HP C-molecules for injection; (b) it will remove the need for synchronizing production and injection since doses can be polarized ahead of time; (c) it will become possible to place the polarizer in a remote location because doses can be stored and transported. The overall objective is to provide a complete solution to prepare and deliver HP 13C-molecules to MRI suites. Unlike with the current dissolution DNP method, the MRI suite would not need to be equipped with a polarizer, which could instead be remotely located in another building or in a nearby facility.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 150 000,00
CB2 1TN Cambridge
United Kingdom

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East of England East Anglia Cambridgeshire CC
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data

Beneficiaries (1)