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A heteronuclear ZnGd complex as a potential contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging

A new ligand H3L, with internal compartments for allocating 3d metal ions and external donors to bind 4f ions, was synthesized and completely characterized. Reaction of H3L with zinc(II) and gadolin ium(III) salts allows isolating the heteronuclear complex {[ZnGd(HL)(NO3)(OAc)(CH3OH)](NO3)}∙6H2O (6H2O). The ability of 6H2O to act as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent was evaluated and this study shows that both the transversal and longitudinal relaxivities are quite high but the T1/T2 ratio of 7.9 indicates that it could have even greater potential as a T2 contrast agent.

Keywords: Gadolinium, zinc, MRI contrast agent, Schiff base, imidazolidine