Non-Destructive Tool for Measuring Gas Polarization

Period of Performance: 04/15/2001 - 12/31/2002


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Advanced Liquid Crystal Technologies
Summit, NJ 07902
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (Provided by Applicant): A use has recently been proposed for hyperpolarized noble gases as an MIRI contrast enhancer for e.g. MRJ of the lungs and other vacuous spaces. In all applications using hyperpolarized gases, it is important to measure its polarization. This is especially the case for hyperpolarized gases delivered from a central facility where there is the possibility of depolarization in transit. The purpose of this Phase I SBIR application is to design and build a portable instrument that can measure the polarization of any hyperpolarized gas, a hyperpolarimeter. We use a proprietary method that does not depolarize the gas nor require a nuclear magnetic resonance machine. It probes the gas with a magnetic field not much stronger than circuit noise at a frequency different from its magnetic resonance frequency. The principles and details of its operation are the subject of a patent application. This will be the first portable instrument to easily and precisely measure gas polarization. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: This device will be useful to measure the degree of polarization of any hyperpolarized gas delivered to a hospital/clinic for use in enhanced MRI. It can also be used to control the degree of polarization delivered to a patient. In anticipation of the growing usefulness of hyperpolarized gases, we estimate initial 2002 sales of 6,000 units for enhanced lung MRI alone.