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J Am Chem Soc. 2014 Feb 12;136(6):2630-6. doi: 10.1021/ja412254k. Epub 2014 Feb 3.

Gd3N@C84(OH)x: a new egg-shaped metallofullerene magnetic resonance imaging contrast agent.

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Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute , Roanoke, VA, 24016, United States.


Water-soluble derivatives of gadolinium-containing metallofullerenes have been considered to be excellent candidates for new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents because of their high relaxivity and characteristic encapsulation of the lanthanide ions (Gd(3+)), preventing their release into the bioenvironment. The trimetallic nitride template endohedral metallofullerenes (TNT EMFs) have further advantages of high stability, high relative yield, and encapsulation of three Gd(3+) ions per molecule as illustrated by the previously reported nearly spherical, Gd3N@I(h)-C80. In this study, we report the preparation and functionalization of a lower-symmetry EMF, Gd3N@C(s)-C84, with a pentalene (fused pentagons) motif and an egg-shaped structure. The Gd3N@C84 derivative exhibits a higher (1)H MR relaxivity compared to that of the Gd3N@C80 derivative synthesized the same way, at low (0.47 T), medium (1.4 T), and high (9.4 T) magnetic fields. The Gd3N@C(s)-C84 derivative exhibits a higher hydroxyl content and aggregate size, as confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and dynamic light scattering (DLS) experiments, which could be the main reasons for the higher relaxivity.

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