Bastiaan Driehuys, PhD

Professor of Radiology
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Professor of Physics
Address: 161-B Bryan Research, 311 Research Drive
Durham, NC 27710
Phone: (919) 684-7786

Research Interests

My research program is focused on developing and applying hyperpolarized gases to enable fundamentally new applications in MRI. Currently we use this technology to non-invasively image pulmonary function in 3D. Hyperpolarization involves aligning nuclei to a high degree to enhance their MRI signal by 5-6 orders of magnitude. Thus, despite the low density of gases relative to water (the ordinary signal source in MRI), they can be imaged at high-resolution in a single breath. This technology leads to a host of interesting areas of study including: investigating the basic physics of hyperpolarization, developing new MR methods and hardware for image acquisition, image analysis and quantification, and of, course applying this technology to a host of chronic diseases including, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pulmonary fibrosis.


Willmering, Matthew M., et al. “Pediatric 129 Xe Gas-Transfer MRI-Feasibility and Applicability.J Magn Reson Imaging, Mar. 2022. Pubmed, doi:10.1002/jmri.28136.

Niedbalski, Peter J., et al. “Utilizing flip angle/TR equivalence to reduce breath hold duration in hyperpolarized 129 Xe 1-point Dixon gas exchange imaging.Magn Reson Med, vol. 87, no. 3, Mar. 2022, pp. 1490–99. Pubmed, doi:10.1002/mrm.29040.

Kooner, Harkiran K., et al. “Pulmonary functional MRI: Detecting the structure-function pathologies that drive asthma symptoms and quality of life.Respirology, vol. 27, no. 2, Feb. 2022, pp. 114–33. Pubmed, doi:10.1111/resp.14197.

Niedbalski, Peter J., et al. “Protocols for multi-site trials using hyperpolarized 129 Xe MRI for imaging of ventilation, alveolar-airspace size, and gas exchange: A position paper from the 129 Xe MRI clinical trials consortium.Magn Reson Med, vol. 86, no. 6, Dec. 2021, pp. 2966–86. Pubmed, doi:10.1002/mrm.28985.

Rankine, Leith J., et al. “Hyperpolarized 129Xe Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Functional Avoidance Treatment Planning in Thoracic Radiation Therapy: A Comparison of Ventilation- and Gas Exchange-Guided Treatment Plans.Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys, vol. 111, no. 4, Nov. 2021, pp. 1044–57. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2021.07.002.

Mummy, David G., et al. “Hyperpolarized 129Xe MRI and Spectroscopy of Gas-Exchange Abnormalities in Nonspecific Interstitial Pneumonia.Radiology, vol. 301, no. 1, Oct. 2021, pp. 211–20. Pubmed, doi:10.1148/radiol.2021204149.

Mummy, David G., et al. “Regional Gas Exchange Measured by 129 Xe Magnetic Resonance Imaging Before and After Combination Bronchodilators Treatment in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.J Magn Reson Imaging, vol. 54, no. 3, Sept. 2021, pp. 964–74. Pubmed, doi:10.1002/jmri.27662.

Rankine, L., et al. “Quantifying Radiation-Induced Lung Injury as a Function of Regional Radiation Therapy Dose Using Hyperpolarized-129Xe MRI.” Medical Physics, vol. 48, no. 6, 2021.