Scientific article
Open access

Hyperpolarized lithium-6 as a sensor of nanomolar contrast agents

Published inMagnetic resonance in medicine, vol. 61, no. 6, p. 1489-1493
Publication date2009

Lithium is widely used in psychotherapy. The (6)Li isotope has a long intrinsic longitudinal relaxation time T(1) on the order of minutes, making it an ideal candidate for hyperpolarization experiments. In the present study we demonstrated that lithium-6 can be readily hyperpolarized within 30 min, while retaining a long polarization decay time on the order of a minute. We used the intrinsically long relaxation time for the detection of 500 nM contrast agent in vitro. Hyperpolarized lithium-6 was administered to the rat and its signal retained a decay time on the order of 70 sec in vivo. Localization experiments imply that the lithium signal originated from within the brain and that it was detectable up to 5 min after administration. We conclude that the detection of submicromolar contrast agents using hyperpolarized NMR nuclei such as (6)Li may provide a novel avenue for molecular imaging.

  • Animals
  • Brain/metabolism
  • Contrast Media/analysis/pharmacokinetics
  • Isotopes/diagnostic use/pharmacokinetics
  • Lithium/diagnostic use/pharmacokinetics
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy/methods
  • Male
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Molecular Probe Techniques
  • Molecular Probes
  • Nanostructures/chemistry
  • Radiopharmaceuticals/diagnostic use/pharmacokinetics
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
Research group
Citation (ISO format)
VAN HEESWIJK, Ruud B et al. Hyperpolarized lithium-6 as a sensor of nanomolar contrast agents. In: Magnetic resonance in medicine, 2009, vol. 61, n° 6, p. 1489–1493. doi: 10.1002/mrm.21952
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0740-3194

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