DURHAM, N.C., Jan. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Polarean, Inc., a pioneer in hyperpolarized gas technology, announced today that it has developed new technology to dramatically improve polarization rates. Polarean's new technology is now being offered as an upgrade kit to current owners of 9800 series Polarean Xenon Hyperpolarizers, enabling them to consistently reach polarization levels of 20-25%. Additional polarization improvements are underway, to be included in the new 9820 Series of Polarean Hyperpolarizers, available in mid-2015.
Polarean's hyperpolarization technology addresses a significant need in pulmonary research and drug development. The technology produces hyperpolarized inert xenon gas, used in conjunction with standard MRI imaging to create high resolution 3-dimensional images of the human lung. This technique is a unique way to monitor extremely small changes in lung structure and lung function, and is used in basic and clinical research to study lung physiology and to monitor the efficacy of new drugs.
Higher levels of polarization provide researchers with additional flexibility. They can reduce the amount of Xenon to be inhaled, without compromising image quality, and this is especially important in pediatric studies. Or, researchers can use the same amount of Xenon and achieve higher image quality.
"We have made significant improvements in our hyperpolarization technology, especially in the downstream recovery of polarized Xenon," commented Dr. Bastiaan Driehuys, Polarean's founder and Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Driehuys added, "In addition, Polarean is developing a new generation of polarizers that not only include these downstream improvements, but also new optical cell designs and a more powerful laser. Together, these improvements will take our polarization and production levels even higher." Polarean expects to launch this new line of hyperpolarizers in mid-2015.
Polarean's research equipment is currently in use at leading academic research centers in North America and Europe.
Polarean®, Inc. began operations in 2012, after securing all assets and intellectual property for hyperpolarized gas MRI from GE Healthcare. Located in the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina, Polarean® designs and manufactures equipment for production of hyperpolarized xenon or helium gases. When used in conjunction with MRI, these gases offer a fundamentally new and non-invasive functional imaging platform. Current investigational uses include early diagnosis of respiratory diseases as well as monitoring progression and therapeutic response. In addition, xenon gas exhibits solubility and signal properties that enable it to be imaged within other tissues and organs as well. Polarean® hyperpolarization systems are currently sold in the United States and internationally for research and investigational applications only.
The central equipment required for hyperpolarized gas MRI is a polarizer. Using circularly polarized laser light, the polarizer transforms the inert, stable noble gas isotopes 3He and 129Xe into their hyperpolarized states. This process leaves the gases chemically unchanged, while their nuclei are magnetically aligned. The resulting MRI signal is enhanced by a factor of ´100,000, making direct imaging of gas molecules possible.
For more information, please visit www.polarean.com.
Media Contact: Ken West