A novel approach to magnetic resonance imaging is disclosed. Blood flowing through a living system is prepolarized, and then encoded. The polarization can be achieved using permanent or superconducting magnets. The polarization may be carried out upstream of the region to be encoded or at the place of encoding. In the case of an MRI of a brain, polarization of flowing blood can be effected by placing a magnet over a section of the body such as the heart upstream of the head. Alternatively, polarization and encoding can be effected at the same location. Detection occurs at a remote location, using a separate detection device such as an optical atomic magnetometer, or an inductive Faraday coil. The detector may be placed on the surface of the skin next to a blood vessel such as a jugular vein carrying blood away from the encoded region.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENTAL SUPPORT
The invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to the Regents of the University of California for the operation and maintenance of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The government has certain rights in this invention.