Gadolinium Endohedral Metallofullerenes for Future Magnetic Resonance Imaging Contrast Agents

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Virginia Tech


Gadolinium endohedral metallofullerenes (EMFs) have shown the potential to become next generation magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents due to their significantly improved efficiency and safety, as well as multi-day body retention which allows for a longer surgery and observation compared to current contrast agents. In Chapter 1, I have reviewed the development of gadolinium EMF based MRI contrast agents. In Chapter 2, I have described my study of Gd3N@C80 and Gd3N@C84 metallofullerenols as next generation MRI contrast agents. The metallofullerenols are synthesized and characterized utilizing UV-vis, IR, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and dynamic light scattering (DLS). In addition, relaxivity data were obtained for the two metallofullerenes, and the results showed that Gd3N@C84 metallofullerenol had enhanced relaxivity compared to Gd3N@C80 metallofullerenol. This result is consistent with the observation of magnetic resonance images of the samples at different concentrations. The enhanced relaxivity was attributed to the special "egg shape" of the Gd3N@C84 cage. In Chapter 3, I have described the relaxivity study of Gd3N@C80 (without functionalization) in oleic acid, which could be used as an MRI contrast agent for more hydrophobic bioenvironments. The results show that Gd3N@C80 has a reasonable relaxation effect (relaxivity ~10 mM-1S-1 at 1.4 T) in oleic acid and could be a viable contrast agent even without functionalization. In Chapter 4, I have discussed the outlook of gadolinium EMF-based MRI contrast agents and suggested several directions for future work.



Endohedral Metallofullerene, Trimetallic Nitride Template, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Relaxivity, Contrast Agent