Magnetic resonance imaging

A cryptic contrast agent

Rare gases provide unique opportunities to examine patients and materials with magnetic resonance imaging. A new entry, krypton, offers interesting properties that could move the field forward.

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Figure 1: Creation and imaging of hyperpolarized krypton-83 (represented by green balls) is accomplished by laser optical pumping of rubidium atoms (blue balls) in a gas-phase optical cell, followed by transfer to a magnet.


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Raftery, D. A cryptic contrast agent. Nature Phys 2, 77–78 (2006).

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