Analysis of the Relaxometric Properties of Extremely Rapidly Exchanging Gd3+ Chelates: Lessons from a Comparison of Four Isomeric Chelates

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Inorganic Chemistry

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Relaxometric analyses and in particular the use of fast-field cycling techniques have become routine in the study of paramagnetic metal complexes. The field dependence of the solvent proton relaxation properties (nuclear magnetic relaxation dispersion, NMRD) can provide unparalleled insights into the chemistry of these complexes. However, analyzing NMRD data is a multiparametric problem, and some sets of variables are mutually compensatory. Specifically, when fitting NMRD profiles, the metal–proton distance and the rotational correlation time constant have a push–pull relationship in which a change to one causes a predictable compensation in the other. A relaxometric analysis of four isomeric chelates highlights the pitfalls that await when fitting the NMRD profiles of chelates for which dissociative water exchange is extremely rapid. In the absence of independently verified values for one of these parameters, NMRD profiles can be fitted to multiple parameter sets. This means that NMRD fitting can inadvertently be used to buttress a preconceived notion of how the complex should behave when a different parameter set may more accurately describe the actual behavior. These findings explain why the effect of very rapid dissociative exchange on the hydration state of Gd3+ has remained obscured until only recently.


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