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J Am Chem Soc. 2006 Dec 20;128(50):15942-3.

A smart magnetic resonance contrast agent for selective copper sensing.

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Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


We describe the synthesis and properties of Copper-Gad-1 (CG1), a new type of smart magnetic resonance (MR) sensor for selective detection of copper. CG1 is composed of a gadolinium contrast agent core tethered to copper-selective recognition motif. Cu2+-induced modulation of inner-sphere water access to the Gd3+ center provides a sensing mechanism for reporting Cu2+ levels by reading out changes in longitudinal proton relaxivity values. CG1 features good selectivity for Cu2+ over abundant biological cations and a 41% increase in relaxivity upon Cu2+ binding and is capable of detecting micromolar changes in Cu2+ concentrations in aqueous media.

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