I Marco-Rius, T Cheng, AP Gaunt, S Patel, F Kreis, A Capozzi, AJ Wright, KM Brindle, O Ouari, A Comment
J Am Chem Soc
Whether for 13C magnetic resonance studies in chemistry, biochemistry, or biomedicine, hyperpolarization methods based on dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) have become ubiquitous. DNP requires a source of unpaired electrons, which are commonly added to the sample to be hyperpolarized in the form of stable free radicals. Once polarized, the presence of these radicals is unwanted. These radicals can be replaced by nonpersistent radicals created by the photoirradiation of pyruvic acid (PA), which are annihilated upon dissolution or thermalization in the solid state. However, since PA is readily metabolized by most cells, its presence may be undesirable for some metabolic studies. In addition, some 13C substrates are photosensitive and therefore may degrade during the photogeneration of a PA radical, which requires ultraviolet (UV) light. We show here that the photoirradiation of phenylglyoxylic acid (PhGA) using visible light produces a nonpersistent radical that, in principle, can be used to hyperpolarize any molecule. We compare radical yields in samples containing PA and PhGA upon photoirradiation with broadband and narrowband UV-visible light sources. To demonstrate the suitability of PhGA as a radical precursor for DNP, we polarized the gluconeogenic probe 13C-dihydroxyacetone, which is UV-sensitive, using a commercial 3.35 T DNP polarizer and then injected this into a mouse and followed its metabolism in vivo.