International Tomography Center
Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences

Current research

In recent years, the focus of our research has shifted significantly. As a result, the studies of mass transport in porous materials such as flow and filtration of liquids and gases in channels and granular beds, sorption of vapors and gases by porous solids, drying of wet porous materials, etc., are represented much less in our current research. Yet, some such studies continue, and in addition the tools developed and the experience accumulated in the past provide a solid basis for addressing new challenges. The main focus of our current research is on the NMR/MRI studies of the preparation and characterization of heterogeneous catalysts, the studies of the mechanisms of catalytic reactions and of the processes that take place in heterogeneous catalysts and model catalytic reactors under reactive conditions, the exploration of parahydrogen-based and other techniques for signal enhancement in NMR/MRI, and more Among the latest additions to this list are the biomedical applications of MRI and MRS.

The current research activities include:

1. MR (micro)imaging and spectroscopy of catalysts, catalytic reactions and reactors:

  • MR (micro)imaging and spatially resolved NMR spectroscopy of fluids in porous media, and in particular their applications to the studies of catalytic and other chemical processes (e.g., in situ studies of catalytic reactions in porous catalysts and model catalytic reactors)
  • MR (micro)imaging of the distribution and transport of active component precursors and other solutes upon preparation of supported catalysts (e.g., by impregnation/drying of porous supports)

2. Signal enhancement in NMR/MRI with parahydrogen-induced polarization of nuclear spins:

  • Development of efficient heterogeneous catalysts (e.g., immobilized metal complexes, supported metals, and other types) capable of providing the ultimate NMR signal enhancements
  • Extension of PHIP techniques to reactions other than hydrogenation of unsaturated hydrocarbons
  • Combining PHIP with the remarkable properties of long-lived spin states
  • Development of PHIP technologies for producing continuous streams of pure hyperpolarized liquids and gases for MRI applications, including biomedical MR imaging
  • Development of hypersensitive PHIP-based techniques for the studies of the mechanisms of heterogeneous catalytic processes and of the processes in operating catalytic reactors
  • Studies of the nuclear spin isomers of symmetric molecules

3. Biological MR imaging:

  • Development and application of novel strategies for high SNR/CNR multinuclear in vivo imaging and spectroscopy
  • Development and application of novel theranostic agents for NMR/MRI in vivo
  • In vitro MRI of eye lens changes related to age and cataract development

Our research is currently supported financially by the Russian Science Foundation (RSCF), Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), with the basic funding provided by FASO.