Hyperpolarized 89Y-EDTMP complex as a chemical shift-based NMR sensor for pH at the physiological range

Published: February 19, 2021

Wang, Qing, Christopher Parish, Peter Niedbalski, James Ratnakar, Zoltan Kovacs, and Lloyd Lumata. “Hyperpolarized 89Y-EDTMP Complex as a Chemical Shift-Based NMR Sensor for PH at the Physiological Range.” Journal of Magnetic Resonance 320 (November 2020): 106837.


Yttrium (III) complexes are interesting due to the similarity of their chemistry with gadolinium complexes that are used as contrast agents in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy or imaging (MRI). While most of the paramagnetic Gd3+-based MRI contrast agents are T1 or T2 relaxation-based sensors such as Gd3+-complexes for zinc or pH detection, a number of diamagnetic Y3+-complexes rely on changes in the chemical shift for potential quantitative MRI in biological milieu. 89Y, however, is a challenging nucleus to work with in conventional NMR or MRI due to its inherently low sensitivity and relatively long T1 relaxation time. This insensitivity problem in 89Y-based complexes can be circumvented with the use of dissolution dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) which allows for several thousand-fold enhancement of the NMR or MRI signal relative to thermal equilibrium signal. Herein, we report on the feasibility of using hyperpolarized 89Y-complexes with phosphonated open-chain ligands, 89YEDTMP and 89Y-DTPMP, as potential chemical shift-based pH NMR sensors. Our DNP-NMR data show that hyperpolarized 89Y-DTPMP has an apparent pKa ~ 7.01 with a 4 ppm-wide chemical shift dispersion with the signal disappearing at pH below 6.2. On the other hand, pH titration data on hyperpolarized 89YEDTMP show that it has an apparent pKa of pH 6.7 and a 16-ppm wide chemical shift dispersion at pH 5–9 range. In comparison, the previously reported hyperpolarized pH NMR sensor 89Y-DOTP has a pKa of 7.64 and ~ 10-ppm wide chemical shift dispersion at pH 4–9 range. Overall, our data suggest that hyperpolarized 89Y-EDTMP is better than hyperpolarized 89Y-DOTP in terms of pH sensing capability at the physiological range.