First Advisor

Mark Woods

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology and University Honors




Contrast media (Diagnostic imaging), Zinc, Chelates, Magnetic resonance imaging




Current contrast agents are Gd3+-based, which successfully enhance MRI images but are limited in detecting certain analytes compared to new agents that operate through a CEST mechanism. In this study, a Eu3+ and Tm3+ chelate were examined as CEST agents for MRI imaging in four concentrations of zinc: 0, 0.5, 1, and 2 equivalents. T1 values were obtained using NMR spectrometry, which were then used to fit the data to obtain CEST spectra for the compounds. The CEST spectra of the Tm3+ chelate had a shift in the amide protons as Zn2+ concentrations increased indicating a presence of multiple species and a change in coordination chemistry. The change of the amide peak at -52 ppm showed its potential to be used as a marker for Zn2+ concentration. The Eu³⁺ chelate was useful for examining CEST arising from the coordinated water. A distinct change in the water peak shape, intensity, and shift was observed as Zn²⁺ was added, showing increased water exchange kinetics


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