Dynamic Nuclear Polarisation makes it possible to boost the MRI signal of 13C labelled pyruvate 10,000-fold, overcoming the low natural signal of carbon. This makes imaging of metabolic processes possible, and could provide useful insight on changes in cellular metabolism due to cancer. Imaging the metabolic products of pyruvate allows monitoring not only where metabolism is taking place, but also the metabolic process itself. The limited duration of the hyperpolarized state necessitates rapid imaging techniques, including a technique known as parallel MRI. In order to take advantage of this technique, new coil arrays are required, and will be developed with the expertise available at XLR Resonance. This will make it possible for the first time to produce high resolution images of how relative metabolite concentrations are changing as a function of time, and position XLR Resonance at the forefront of this emerging field. Previously inaccessible avenues for non-invasive assessment of cancer metabolism will be opened up by development of this new technology.
Dr. Charles McKenzie
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