Metal-Assembled Collagen Peptide Microflorettes as Magnetic Resonance Imaging Agents

MOLECULES(2023)

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Abstract
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique that provides detailed information on tissues and organs. However, the low sensitivity of the technique requires the use of contrast agents, usually ones that are based on the chelates of gadolinium ions. In an effort to improve MRI signal intensity, we developed two strategies whereby the ligand DOTA and Gd(III) ions are contained within Zn(II)-promoted collagen peptide (NCoH) supramolecular assemblies. The DOTA moiety was included in the assembly either via a collagen peptide sidechain (NHdota) or through metal-ligand interactions with a His-tagged DOTA conjugate (DOTA-His(6)). SEM verified that the morphology of the NCoH assembly was maintained in the presence of the DOTA-containing peptides (microflorettes), and EDX and ICP-MS confirmed that Gd(III) ions were incorporated within the microflorettes. The Gd(III)-loaded DOTA florettes demonstrated higher intensities for the T1-weighted MRI signal and higher longitudinal relaxivity (r(1)) values, as compared to the clinically used contrast agent Magnevist. Additionally, no appreciable cellular toxicity was observed with the collagen microflorettes loaded with Gd(III). Overall, two peptide-based materials were generated that have potential as MRI contrast agents.
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Key words
peptide,supramolecular assembly,collagen,microflorettes,MRI contrast agents,gadolinium,DOTA
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