470. Carbon-13 Radiofrequency Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation of the Hyperpolarized Ketone and Hemiketal Forms of Allyl [1-¹³C]Pyruvate

Shiraz Nantogma, Henri de Maissin, Isaiah Adelabu, Abubakar Abdurraheem, Christopher Nelson, Nikita V. Chukanov, Oleg G. Salnikov, Igor V. Koptyug, Sören Lehmkuhl, Andreas B. Schmidt, Stephan Appelt, Thomas Theis, and Eduard Y. Chekmenev, ACS Sensors (2024), DOI: 10.1021/acssensors.3c02075

13C hyperpolarized pyruvate is an emerging MRI contrast agent for sensing molecular events in cancer and other diseases with aberrant metabolic pathways. This metabolic contrast agent can be produced via several hyperpolarization techniques. Despite remarkable success in research settings, widespread clinical adoption faces substantial roadblocks because the current sensing technology utilized to sense this contrast agent requires the excitation of 13C nuclear spins that also need to be synchronized with MRI field gradient pulses. Here, we demonstrate sensing of hyperpolarized allyl [1-13C]pyruvate via the stimulated emission of radiation that mitigates the requirements currently blocking broader adoption. Specifically, 13C Radiofrequency Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation (13C RASER) was obtained after pairwise addition of parahydrogen to a pyruvate precursor, detected in a commercial inductive detector with a quality factor (Q) of 32 for sample concentrations as low as 0.125 M with 13C polarization of 4%. Moreover, parahydrogen-induced polarization allowed for the preparation of a mixture of ketone and hemiketal forms of hyperpolarized allyl [1-13C]pyruvate, which are separated by 10 ppm in 13C NMR spectra. This is a good model system to study the simultaneous 13C RASER signals of multiple 13C species. This system models the metabolic production of hyperpolarized [1-13C]lactate from hyperpolarized [1-13C]pyruvate, which has a similar chemical shift difference. Our results show that 13C RASER signals can be obtained from both species simultaneously when the emission threshold is exceeded for both species. On the other hand, when the emission threshold is exceeded only for one of the hyperpolarized species, 13C stimulated emission is confined to this species only, therefore enabling the background-free detection of individual hyperpolarized 13C signals. The reported results pave the way to novel sensing approaches of 13C hyperpolarized pyruvate, potentially unlocking hyperpolarized 13C MRI on virtually any MRI system - an attractive vision for the future molecular imaging and diagnostics.