Hyperpolarization & Metabolism

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    Ørsteds Plads, Building 345C

    DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby

    Denmark

Organization profile

Organisation profile

The HYPERMAG Center of Excellence was established in 2015 with funding from the Danish National Research Foundation. HYPERMAG aims to understand the science behind hyperpolarization by Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP) with the aim of providing a theoretical and experimental basis of the method. Our vision is to enable new vistas in medicine, biology and chemistry through Hyperpolarized Magnetic Resonance.

NMR and MRI play a crucial role in numerous fields of science ranging from physics and chemistry to biology and medicine. However, despite all its versatility, the key issue is frequently sensitivity, which limits the applicability in the case of fast dynamic processes and detection of low abundance molecules both in vitro and in vivo. Hyperpolarization by dissolution Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (dDNP) is a means to overcome the sensitivity problem by delivering a 10,000-fold signal enhancement and thereby enabling experiments that could not be done otherwise. In 2003 we published a seminal work demonstrating that DNP in the solid state at low temperature could be exploited to hyperpolarize nuclear spins in the liquid state at room temperature by rapidly dissolving the sample in a hot solvent. Although the idea appeared to be preposterous, the results were astonishing.

It has opened up many new applications in liquid state NMR and MRI and created a flourishing research community. An opportunity for studying transient chemical reactions in real time has emerged. One of the most compelling applications of hyperpolarization is in medical imaging. Hyperpolarized Metabolic MR has the potential to revolutionize diagnostic radiology by opening a window into organ and tissue metabolism at the cellular level in real-time and non-invasively. Recently the first hyperpolarized clinical trial in patients with prostate cancer was published as well as a study of cardiac metabolism in healthy subjects. 

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Our work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

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