A terbium-based complex that displays a water exchange CEST resonance well outside the normal magnetization transfer (MT) frequency range of tissues provides a direct readout of pH values by MRI. Deprotonation of the phenolic proton in this complex results in a frequency shift of 56 ppm in a bound water molecule exchange peak between pH 5 and 8. This allows direct imaging of pH without prior knowledge of the agent concentration and with essentially no interference from the tissue MT signal.
Keywords: imaging agents; lanthanides; magnetic resonance imaging; magnetization transfer; paraCEST.
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