Developing imidazoles as CEST MRI pH sensors

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A series of intra-molecular hydrogen bonded imidazoles and related heterocyclic compounds were screened for their N–H chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast properties. Of the compounds, imidazole-4,5-dicarboxamides (I45DCs) were found to provide the strongest contrast, with the contrast produced at a large chemical shift from water (7.8 ppm) and strongly dependent on pH. We have tested several probes based on this scaffold, and demonstrated that these probes could be applied for in vivo detection of kidney pH after intravenous administration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-312
Number of pages9
JournalContrast Media and Molecular Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • chemical exchange saturation transfer
  • imidazole-4,5-dicarboxamides
  • molecular imaging
  • pH imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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