Given the known water exchange rate limitations of a previously reported Zn(II)-sensitive MRI contrast agent, GdDOTA-diBPEN, new structural targets were rationally designed to increase the rate of water exchange to improve MRI detection sensitivity. These new sensors exhibit fine-tuned water exchange properties and, depending on the individual structure, demonstrate significantly improved longitudinal relaxivities (r1). Two sensors in particular demonstrate optimized parameters and, therefore, show exceptionally high longitudinal relaxivities of about 50 mM-1 s-1 upon binding to Zn(II) and human serum albumin (HSA). This value demonstrates a 3-fold increase in r1 compared to that displayed by the original sensor, GdDOTA-diBPEN. In addition, this study provides important insights into the interplay between structural modifications, water exchange rate, and kinetic stability properties of the sensors. The new high relaxivity agents were used to successfully image Zn(II) release from the mouse pancreas in vivo during glucose stimulated insulin secretion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry