Fluorescently detectable magnetic resonance imaging agents

Martina M. Hüber, Andrea B. Staubli, Karen Kustedjo, Mike H B Gray, John Shih, Scott E. Fraser, Russell E. Jacobs*, Thomas J. Meade

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

185 Scopus citations


This report describes the synthesis, characterization, and in vivo testing of several bifunctional contrastenhancing agents for optical and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of experimental animals. These new agents integrate the advantages of both techniques since they can be visualized simultaneously by light and MRI microscopy. Employing this strategy allows the same biological structures of a specimen to be studied at dramatically different resolutions and depths. The complexes possess a metal chelator for binding a paramagnetic ion, gadolinium (Gd3+), and a covalently attached fluorescent dye. The first class of complexes are low-molecular weight species that are composed of the macrocyclic tetraamine 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-N,N',N',N'-tetraacetic acid (DOTA) as the metal-chelating ligand coupled to tetramethylrhodamine. The second class of MRI-enhancing agents are composed of high-molecular weight polymers that are membrane impermeable and once injected into a cell or cells are trapped inside. These complexes possess multiple copies of both the metal-chelatordiethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) and the tetramethylrhodamine attached to a macromolecular framework of either poly(D-lysine) (pdl) or dextran. Images acquired of single cells after injection with these bifunctional agents enabled us to follow the relative motions and reorganizations of different cell layers during amphibian gastrulation and neurulation in Xenopus laevis embryos.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-249
Number of pages8
JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 27 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry


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