Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and are two well-established powerful and versatile tools that are extensively used in many fields of research, in clinics and in industry. Despite considerable efforts involving highly sophisticated instrumentation, these techniques suffer from low sensitivity, which keeps many of today’s most interesting problems in modern analytical sciences below the limits of MR detection.
Hyperpolarization (HP) provides a solution to this limitation in sensitivity.
In our group, we are developing breakthrough hyperpolarization approaches for preparing nuclear spins in highly aligned states, typically yielding > 10’000 fold sensitivity enhancements.
These new approaches have the potential of transforming analytical chemistry, drug discovery and medical diagnostics, and thereby will provide a powerful tool to solve challenges at the forefront of molecular and chemical sciences today.
Our interdisciplinary work lies at the interface between Physics, Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Medicine; it involves
i) designing methods for controlling nuclear and electron spin population distributions amongst quantum state,
ii) developing complex state-of-the-art instrumentation comprising high magnetic fields, cryogenics below superfluid helium transition, pulsed radio-frequencies, optics, quasi-optics, high pressure and temperature fluidic,
iii) conceiving new sample formulations and synthetizing innovative polarizing materials inspired from heterogeneous catalys
iv) imagining new ways of extending spin state lifetimes for example to deliver hyperpolarized metabolites to remote points of use,
v) and finally exploring new applications in NMR and MRI.
Notable applications are in the fields of analytical chemistry, drug discovery, metabolomics and real-time metabolic imaging by MRI in living animals.
- Prof. Sami Jannin was awarded an ERC Starting Grant, HP4all project to start early January 2017 (further information on UCBL website)
- a 6th European patent was granted on September the 7th 2016: “Method for Hyperpolarization Transfer in the Liquid State. Link to the European Patent Office
- Paper out in PNAS: We have introduced a breakthrough hyperpolarization sample formulation based on the use of surface modified mesoporous silica materials. This makes it possible to produce hyperpolarized solutions of metabolites without contaminants. Link to ‘Science et Avenir’ magazine Link to the Article