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Abstract #2308

Reconciling the Discrepancy Between Theory and Observed Hyperpolarized 129 Xe Polarizer Performance

Matthew S Freeman 1,2 , Kiarash Emami 3 , and Bastiaan Driehuys 1,2

1 Medical Physics Graduate Program, Duke University, Durham, NC, United States, 2 Center for In Vivo Microscopy, Duke University, Durham, NC, United States, 3 Polarean, Inc., Durham, NC, United States

While hyperpolarized (HP) 129 Xe MRI shows great promise as a functional imaging modality, it remains limited by HP 129 Xe polarization and production rates. Despite notable recent successes, most polarizers greatly underperform compared to theoretical predictions of the standard model of spin-exchange optical pumping (SEOP). Here we characterize 6 combinations of optical cells and lasers, and show that by postulating the generation of recently discovered paramagnetic Rb fractal clusters within the SEOP environment, observed performance can be explained. Rb fractal clusters, if confirmed, would strongly impact future polarizer designs, and if mitigated, would restore full theoretically predicted performance.

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