University of Heidelberg
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Signal-to-noise ratio of a mouse brain (13) C CryoProbe™ system in comparison with room temperature coils: spectroscopic phantom and in vivo results

M. Sack, F. Wetterling, A. Sartorius, G. Ende and W. Weber-Fahr

NMR Biomed, 27 (6), pp.709-715

MRI and MRS in small rodents demand very high sensitivity. Cryogenic transmit/receive radiofrequency probes (CryoProbes) designed for (1) H MRI of mouse brain provide an attractive option for increasing the performance of small-animal MR systems. As the Larmor frequency of (13) C nuclei is four times lower than that for (1) H nuclei, an even larger sensitivity improvement is expected for (13) C applications. The aim of this work was to evaluate the performance of a prototype (13) C CryoProbe™ for mouse brain MRS. To investigate the possible gain of the (13) C CryoProbe™, we acquired localized single-voxel (13) C spectra and chemical shift images of a dimethyl sulfoxide phantom with the CryoProbe™, as well as with two room temperature resonators. The cryogenically cooled resonator achieved approximately four-fold higher signal-to-noise ratio in phantom tests when compared with the best-performing room temperature coil. In addition, we present localized (13) C spectra of mouse brain obtained with the CryoProbe™, as well as with one of the room temperature coils, demonstrating the performance in vivo. In summary, the cryogenic cooling technique significantly enhances the (13) C signal sensitivity at 9.4 T and enables the investigation of metabolism within mouse brain.

Contact: Dr. Frank Zöllner last modified: 21.09.2020
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