161. Parahydrogen-Induced Polarization of Diethyl Ether Anesthetic

Nuwandi M. Ariyasingha, Baptiste Joalland, Hassan R. Younes, Oleg G. Salnikov, Nikita V. Chukanov, Kirill V. Kovtunov, Larisa M. Kovtunova, Valerii I. Bukhtiyarov, Igor V. Koptyug, Juri G. Gelovani, and Eduard Y Chekmenev; Chemistry - A European Journal; (2020); DOI: 10.1002/chem.202002528

The growing interest in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for assessing regional lung function relies on the use of nuclear‐spin hyperpolarized gas as a contrast agent. The long gas‐phase lifetimes of hyperpolarized 129Xe make this inhalable contrast agent acceptable for clinical research today despite limitations such as high cost, low throughput of production and challenges of 129Xe imaging on clinical MRI scanners, which are normally equipped with proton detection only. We report on low‐cost and high‐throughput preparation of proton‐hyperpolarized diethyl ether, which can be potentially employed for pulmonary imaging with a non‐toxic, simple, and sensitive overall strategy using proton detection commonly available on all clinical MRI scanners. Diethyl ether is hyperpolarized by pairwise parahydrogen addition to vinyl ethyl ether and characterized by 1H NMR spectroscopy. Proton polarization levels exceeding 8% are achieved at near complete chemical conversion within seconds, causing the activation of radio amplification by stimulated emission radiation (RASER) throughout detection. Although gas‐phase T1 relaxation of hyperpolarized diethyl ether (at partial pressure of 0.5 bar) is very efficient with T1 of ca. 1.2 second, we demonstrate that at low magnetic fields, the use of long‐lived singlet states created via pairwise parahydrogen addition extends the relaxation decay by approximately 3‐fold, paving the way to bioimaging applications and beyond.