Toward the design of MR agents for imaging β-cell function

Mark Woods, Shanrong Zhang, A. Dean Sherry

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The Chemistry of Gd3+-based MRI agents has advanced considerably during the past decade toward agents with higher relaxivity and agents that respond to physiology and/or metabolism. This review describes various approaches that have been taken toward the development of responsive contrast agents and discusses the importance of fast water exchange for advancement of targeted Gd3+-based agents with higher sensitivity. The recent discovery of Eu3+ complexes having extraordinarily slow water exchange has opened a new avenue in contrast agent design based upon the chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) mechanism. These new paramagnetic complexes called PARACEST agents offer new possibilities of imaging biological functions such as tissue pH and metabolite levels. The lower detection limits that may apply to each class of contrast agent (Gd3+-based versus PARACEST) are discussed and the extent to which they may be applied to the imaging of β-cells is considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-369
Number of pages21
JournalCurrent Medicinal Chemistry: Immunology, Endocrine and Metabolic Agents
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Responsive contrast agents
  • Targeted contrast agents
  • β-cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pharmacology


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