Molecular Dynamics Simulations of the Internal Mobility of Gd3+-Based MRI Contrast Agents: Consequences for Water Proton Relaxivity


  • Alain Borel
  • Fabrice Yerly
  • Lothar Helm
  • André E. Merbach



Computational chemistry, Gadolinium, Magnetic resonance imaging, Relaxation


The increasing use of contrast agents in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for medical diagnosis is due to the ability, called relaxivity, of these paramagnetic compounds to accelerate the relaxation of the surrounding water proton spins. A new classical force field for molecular dynamics simulations of Gd3+ polyaminocarboxylates has recently been published, which allows the study of the chelate internal mobility. We present two selected examples where such motions can affect relaxivity. Knowing the relationship between the bound water proton and oxygen mobility is important for the combined analysis of multinuclear NMR studies, and we show that they differ significantly. Next, we observe symmetry changes over time in the Gd3+ coordination polyhedron of the acyclic complexes. We propose that such rearrangements can play a role in the electron spin relaxation of Gd3+ chelates, an important result considering the uncertainty still attached to this particular factor.




How to Cite

A. Borel, F. Yerly, L. Helm, A. E. Merbach, Chimia 2004, 58, 200, DOI: 10.2533/000942904777678055.