Accessing Long-lived Nuclear Spin States in Chemically Equivalent Spin Systems: Theory, Simulation, Experiment and Implication for Hyperpolarization
Recent work has shown that hyperpolarized magnetic resonance spectroscopy (HP-MRS) can trace in vivo metabolism of biomolecules and is therefore extremely promising for diagnostic imaging. The most severe challenge this technique faces is the short signal lifetime for hyperpolarization, which is dictated by the spin-lattice (T1) relaxation. In this thesis we show with theory, simulation and experiment that the long-lived nuclear spin states in chemically equivalent or near equivalent spin systems offer a solution to this problem. Spin polarization that has lifetime much longer than T1 (up to 70-fold) has been demonstrated with pulse sequence techniques that are compatible with clinical imaging settings. Multiple classes of molecules have been demonstrated to sustain such long-lived hyperpolarization.
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