506. Multi-axis fields boost SABRE hyperpolarization

Jacob R. Lindale, Loren L. Smith, Mathew W. Mammen, Shannon L. Eriksson, Lucas M. Everhart, and Warren S. Warren, PNAS, (2024), DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2400066121

The inherently low signal-to-noise ratio of NMR and MRI is now being addressed by hyperpolarization methods. For example, iridium-based catalysts that reversibly bind both parahydrogen and ligands in solution can hyperpolarize protons (SABRE) or heteronuclei (X-SABRE) on a wide variety of ligands, using a complex interplay of spin dynamics and chemical exchange processes, with common signal enhancements between 103 and 104. This does not approach obvious theoretical limits, and further enhancement would be valuable in many applications (such as imaging mM concentration species in vivo). Most SABRE/X-SABRE implementations require far lower fields (μT-mT) than standard magnetic resonance (>1T), and this gives an additional degree of freedom: the ability to fully modulate fields in three dimensions. However, this has been underexplored because the standard simplifying theoretical assumptions in magnetic resonance need to be revisited. Here, we take a different approach, an evolutionary strategy algorithm for numerical optimization, multi-axis computer-aided heteronuclear transfer enhancement for SABRE (MACHETE-SABRE). We find nonintuitive but highly efficient multiaxial pulse sequences which experimentally can produce a sevenfold improvement in polarization over continuous excitation. This approach optimizes polarization differently than traditional methods, thus gaining extra efficiency.