We propose the purchase of a GE Diamond dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) system for the shared use of 7 major institutions with well-established records of collaboration. This system is necessary for state-of-the-art in-vivo metabolic studies on human subjects using hyperpolarized 13C MRI. Such studies have the potential to reveal real-time metabolic information-data unachievable using any other imaging or non-imaging modality. Extracting this information will pave the way for significant progress in the detection, classification, and treatment of a wide range of serious disorders. While recent studies have indicated that hyperpolarized 13C MRI is ready to be applied to clinical settings, the polarization instruments currently in use at the University of Pennsylvania possess inherent shortcomings that are undermining the ability of researchers from Penn and other important institutions to translate this technique to human subjects. These polarizers do not produce sufficient quantities of polarized sample or maintain sufficiently sterile conditions to enable human studies. The Diamond polarizer corrects both of these major deficiencies while also exhibiting several other advantages. Installing this cutting-edge system at Penn will take advantage of the abundant experience and skill of our Functional and Metabolic Imaging Group in studying hyperpolarized MRI, a field of research that we have been pursuing for almost two decades. The system will initially be used by 7 institutions to carry out 19 NIH-funded projects featuring over 50 investigators from the University of Pennsylvania, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Yale University, New York University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Virginia, and Temple University. Departments within these universities that will benefit include radiation oncology, radiology, biology, pharmacology, and otolaryngology. None of these institutions currently possess the required instrumentation to pursue translational research in hyperpolarized 13C MRI, despite having substantial interest in the field. Penn is collaborating with a number of parties at these various institutions and elsewhere to identify and solve any challenges relating to facility access, technical issues, expertise, and protocol. The system will be placed in Penn's Department of Radiology and will be managed and directed by an internal advisory committee composed of the PI, co-investigators, and principal users. We expect the facility to have a broad and ongoing impact on the clinical acceptance and effectiveness of hyperpolarized 13C research.
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