Synthesis of Organosilicon Ligands for Europium (III) and Gadolinium (III) as Potential Imaging Agents

Bruce, James; O’Connell, Patrick J.; Taylor, Peter G.; Smith, David P.T.; Adkin, Roy C. and Pearson, Victoria K. (2020). Synthesis of Organosilicon Ligands for Europium (III) and Gadolinium (III) as Potential Imaging Agents. Molecules, 25(18) e4253.



The relaxivity of MRI contrast agents can be increased by increasing the size of the contrast agent and by increasing concentration of the bound gadolinium. Large multi-site ligands able to coordinate several metal centres show increased relaxivity as a result. In this paper, an “aza-type Michael” reaction is used to prepare cyclen derivatives that can be attached to organosilicon frameworks via hydrosilylation reactions. A range of organosilicon frameworks were tested including silsesquioxane cages and dimethylsilylbenzene derivatives. Michael donors with strong electron withdrawing groups could be used to alkylate cyclen on three amine centres in a single step. Hydrosilylation successfully attached these to mono-, di-, and tri-dimethylsilyl-substituted benzene derivatives. The europium and gadolinium complexes were formed and studied using luminescence spectroscopy and relaxometry. This showed the complexes to contain two bound water moles per lanthanide centre and T1 relaxation time measurements demonstrated an increase in relaxivity had been achieved, in particular for the trisubstituted scaffold 1,3,5-tris((pentane-sDO3A)dimethylsilyl)benzene-Gd3. This showed a marked increase in the relaxivity (13.1 r1p/mM−1s−1).

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