Rapid Catalyst Capture Enables Metal-Free Parahydrogen-Based Hyperpolarized Contrast Agents

<p>Hyperpolarization techniques based on the use of parahydrogen provide orders of magnitude signal enhancement for magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging. The main drawback limiting widespread applicability of parahydrogen-based techniques in biomedicine is the presence of organometallic compounds (the polarization transfer catalysts) in solution with hyperpolarized contrast agents. These catalysts are typically complexes of platinum-group metals and their administration in vivo should be avoided.</p> <p><br></p><p>Herein, we show how extraction of a hyperpolarized compound from an organic phase to an aqueous phase combined with a rapid (less than 10 seconds) Ir-based catalyst capture by metal scavenging agents can produce pure parahydrogen-based hyperpolarized contrast agents as demonstrated by high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES). The presented methodology enables fast and efficient means of producing pure hyperpolarized aqueous solutions for biomedical and other uses.</p>