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Nondisruptive Dissolution of Hyperpolarized129Xe into Viscous Aqueous and Organic Liquid Crystalline Environments

  • Author(s): Truxal, AE
  • Slack, CC
  • Gomes, MD
  • Vassiliou, CC
  • Wemmer, DE
  • Pines, A
  • et al.

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© 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Studies of hyperpolarized xenon-129 (hp-129Xe) in media such as liquid crystals and cell suspensions are in demand for applications ranging from biomedical imaging to materials engineering but have been hindered by the inability to bubble Xe through the desired media as a result of viscosity or perturbations caused by bubbles. Herein a device is reported that can be reliably used to dissolve hp-129Xe into viscous aqueous and organic samples without bubbling. This method is robust, requires small sample volumes (<60 μL), is compatible with existing NMR hardware, and is made from readily available materials. Experiments show that Xe can be introduced into viscous and aligned media without disrupting molecular order. We detected dissolved xenon in an aqueous liquid crystal that is disrupted by the shear forces of bubbling, and we observed liquid-crystal phase transitions in (MBBA). This tool allows an entirely new class of samples to be investigated by hyperpolarized-gas NMR spectroscopy. Blending into the crowd: A new device that facilitates the direct dissolution of hyperpolarized129Xe into viscous liquid-crystalline media is presented.129Xe and2H NMR spectra show the nondisruptive dissolution of xenon, the presence of ordered phases, and, in the case of the thermotropic liquid crystal N-(4-methoxybenzylidene)-4-butylaniline, a nematic-isotropic phase transition.

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