Increase in signal-to-noise ratio of > 10,000 times in liquid-state NMR

Jan Henrik Ardenkjær-Larsen, Björn Fridlund, Andreas Gram, Georg Hansson, Lennart Hansson, Mathilde Hauge Lerche, Rolf Servin, Mikkel Thaning, Klaes Golman

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


A method for obtaining strongly polarized nuclear spins in solution has been developed. The method uses low temperature, high magnetic field, and dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) to strongly polarize nuclear spins in the solid state. The solid sample is subsequently dissolved rapidly in a suitable solvent to create a solution of molecules with hyperpolarized nuclear spins. The polarization is performed in a DNP polarizer, consisting of a super-conducting magnet (3.35 T) and a liquid-helium cooled sample space. The sample is irradiated with microwaves at approximately 94 GHz. Subsequent to polarization, the sample is dissolved by an injection system inside the DNP magnet. The dissolution process effectively preserves the nuclear polarization. The resulting hyperpolarized liquid sample can be transferred to a high-resolution NMR spectrometer, where an enhanced NMR signal can be acquired, or it may be used as an agent for in vivo imaging or spectroscopy. In this article we describe the use of the method on aqueous solutions of [13C]urea. Polarizations of 37% for 13C and 7.8% for 15N, respectively, were obtained after the dissolution. These polarizations correspond to an enhancement of 44,400 for 13C and 23,500 for 15N, respectively, compared with thermal equilibrium at 9.4 T and room temperature. The method can be used generally for signal enhancement and reduction of measurement time in liquid-state NMR and opens up for a variety of in vitro and in vivo applications of DNP-enhanced NMR.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number18
Pages (from-to)10158-10163
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

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