Extending the Lifetime of Hyperpolarized Propane Gas through Reversible Dissolution
American Chemical Society (ACS) -- The Journal of Physical Chemistry C
DOI 10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b00509


Hyperpolarized (HP) propane produced by the parahydrogen-induced polarization (PHIP) technique has been recently introduced as a promising contrast agent for functional lung magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. However, its short lifetime due to a spin–lattice relaxation time T1 of less than 1 s in the gas phase is a significant translational challenge for its potential biomedical applications. The previously demonstrated approach for extending the lifetime of the HP propane state through long-lived spin states allows the HP propane lifetime to be increased by a factor of ∼3. Here, we demonstrate that a remarkable increase in the propane hyperpolarization decay time at high magnetic field (7.1 T) can be achieved by its dissolution in deuterated organic solvents (acetone-d6 or methanol-d4). The approximate values of the HP decay time for propane dissolved in acetone-d6 are 35.1 and 28.6 s for the CH2 group and the CH3 group, respectively (similar values were obtained for propane dissolved in methanol-d4), which are ∼50 times larger than the gaseous propane T1 value. Furthermore, we show that it is possible to retrieve HP propane from solution to the gas phase with the preservation of hyperpolarization.