ProjectUltra Low Field MRI – Free radical hyperpolarizing agents for ultra-low field Overhauser MRI

Basic data

Ultra Low Field MRI
Free radical hyperpolarizing agents for ultra-low field Overhauser MRI
01/10/2023 to 30/09/2026
Abstract / short description:
Overhauser-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (OMRI) is a visualization method that uses in situ radiofrequency-initiated polarization transfer from unpaired electrons of free radicals to nuclei (i.e., neighboring protons)—Overhauser dynamic nuclear polarization (ODNP). Due to ODNP, the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) from an OMRI can be improved by two orders of magnitude. This enhancement depends on the concentration of the free radical agent; therefore, OMR images reflect the distribution of exogenous free radical agents in the sample (tissues of an animal) and changes in spectral parameters of the radical. Therefore, OMRI provides essential functional information on physiology, oxygen concentration, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and enzymatic activity. Ischemic tissues and tumors often demonstrate significant redox status and ROS production changes. In light of this, OMRI currently attracts considerable interest as a potential technology for performing functional imaging in oncology. However, in vivo OMRI is limited because, at a high magnetic field, the required radiofrequency field for the excitation of electron spin levels is strongly absorbed by tissues and cannot permeate tissues deep enough. However, this issue is solved by low-field MR devices, which are now undergoing rapid development and may soon be deployed for routine medical diagnosis. Therefore, the development of biocompatible free radical hyperpolarizing contrast agents (HCAs) has become essential for efficient ODNP hyperpolarization of the nearby protons
Overhauser dynamic nuclear polarization (ODNP); ultralow-field (ULF) MRI

Involved staff


Faculty of Medicine
University of Tübingen

Local organizational units

Department of Preclinical Imaging and Radiopharmacy
Department of Radiology
Hospitals and clinical institutes, Faculty of Medicine


Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany


Richardson, Texas, United States

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