Cellular delivery of MRI contrast agents

Matthew J. Allen, Keith W. MacRenaris, P. N. Venkatasubramanian, Thomas J. Meade*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a powerful tool for acquiring images of opaque living animals with the benefit of tracking events over extended periods of time on the same specimen. Contrast agents are used to enhance regions, tissues, and cells that are magnetically similar but histologically distinct. A principal barrier to the development of MRI contrast agents for investigating biological questions is the delivery of agents across cellular membranes. Here, we describe the synthesis and in vitro testing of Gd(III) -based MRI contrast agents containing varying length polyarginine oligomers capable of permeating cell membranes. We examine the effect of the length of oligomer on T1 enhancement and cellular uptake. Furthermore, the effect of incubation time, concentration, and cell type on uptake is explored. Toxicity and washout studies are performed in addition to MRI phantom studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-307
Number of pages7
JournalChemistry and Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology


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