We report the design, construction, and initial tests of a hyperpolariser to produce polarised 129Xe and 3He gas for medical imaging of the lung. The hyperpolariser uses the Spin-Exchange Optical Pumping method to polarise the nuclear spins of the isotopic gas. Batch mode operation was chosen for the design to produce polarised 129Xe and polarised 3He. Two-side pumping, electrical heating and a piston to transfer the polarised gas were some of the implemented techniques that are not commonly used in hyperpolariser designs. We have carried out magnetic resonance imaging experiments demonstrating that the 3He and 129Xe polarisation reached were sufficient for imaging, in particular for in vivo lung imaging using 129Xe. Further improvements to the hyperpolariser have also been discussed.
- Hyperpolarised Helium-3
- Hyperpolarised Xenon-129
- MRI lung imaging: Spin-exchange optical pumping