About us

The Swiss DNP Initiative was launched in 2005 as a collaboration between the Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM); the Institute of Nanostructure Physics (now Laboratory for Physics of Nanostructured Materials (LPNM)) at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the Sample Environment and Polarised Targets (SEPT) group at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI). The goal was to bundle expertise required to develop on one hand a dissolution-DNP system suitable for in vivo MRI/MRS at the CIBM and, on the other hand, an optical triplet-DNP setup for neutron beam experiments at the PSI. The SEPT group designed and built a cryostat for dissolution DNP and the LPNM group designed and built an ESR spectrometer and probe suitable to perform the triplet experiments known as ISE and NOVEL. Theoretical support was provided by a LPNM-hosted visiting scientist (formerly at Leiden University) who originally developed these methods.

The first dissolution-DNP machine was installed at CIBM in october 2006. After checks of its performance, the PSI and the LPMN built a copy of it, that was installed at the Laboratory of Biomolecular Magnetic Resonance (LRMB) in july 2008. The LRMB focuses on how polarization can be improved in the pre-dissolution stage by high-field spin-gymnastics (cross-polarization), and how this post-dissolution hyperpolarization can be sustained over longer timescales (in the form of long-lived states) while the CIBM, in collaboration with the Dynamic Nuclear Polarization Group, is mainly interested in obtaining optimal in vivo MRS and MRI, in particular for metabolic studies and molecular imaging.

Further copies of the PSI-designed cryogenic hardware have been acquired by laboratories elsewhere in Europe and in the USA.

In the meantime, another group at the LPMN had started a collaboration with the Centre de Recherches en Physique des Plasmas (CRPP), which is the EPFL-hosted Swiss center in the field of plasma physics, with specific expertise in research and development of high frequency gyrotrons. The goal was to develop a gyrotron for solid-state-DNP that would be more versatile than designs in use elsewhere. The prototype has been installed early 2013. It is a gyrotron-research facility, rather than a full-blown solid-state DNP laboratory.

A full Bruker BioSpin 263 GHz solids DNP spectrometer is hosted by the LRMB, where the main interest is to develop NMR-spectroscopic methodology in an academic/industrial collaboration.

After considerable optimization of the optical part of the triplet-DNP system, the PSI group has obtained its first very relevant results on a neutron beam in 2012.

To find details about any of these research programs and/or literature references, follow the links below:

Dynamic Nuclear Polarization Group, EPFL

Gyrotron Design Group, CRPP, EPFL

Laboratory for Physics of Nanostructured Materials, EPFL

Laboratory of Biomolecular Magnetic Resonance, EPFL

Sample Environment and Polarised Targets, PSI