Xenon hyperpolarised gas generator for functional lung MRI
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 02:13 authored by Maryam Arianpouya
Conventional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has superior soft tissue contrast but limited potential in imaging low-density lung tissue and molecular tracer because of the relatively low intrinsic sensitivity. In this project, we focus on increasing the sensitivity with several orders of magnitude using hyperpolarised 129Xe (hp-129Xe) MRI. A small scale hyperpolarised 129Xe gas generator is currently under construction in house in Macquarie University. The system has further been developed and optimized through this Master of Research project (MRES). Improvements in hardware have been achieved on the NMR unit and the gas-vapour flow system. The improved NMR unit is able to detect polarisation as low as 10%. The gas-vapour flow system was optimised through a new design oin the optical pumping cell and reducing gas leakage. Calibrations were performed to find the most optimum parameters to run the polariser . A protocol was presented for operating the polariser with the optimized parameters. A Matlab program was also further developed to control transmit-receive NMR process. The system will be able to polarise sufficient amounts of 129Xe gas for phantom and preclinical MRI experiments in small rodents (post-MRES). The focus of these experiments will be on pulmonary functional imaging.