Molecules containing multiple lanthanide ions have unique potential in applications for medical imaging including the areas of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fluoresence imaging. The study of multilanthanide complexes as contrast agents for MRI and as biologically responsive fluorescent probes has resulted in an improved understanding of the structural characteristics that govern the behavior of these complexes. This review will survey the last five years of progress in multinuclear lanthanide complexes with a specific focus on the structural parameters that impact potential medical imaging applications. The patents cited in this review are from the last five years and describe contrast agents that contain multiple lanthanide ions.
Keywords: Contrast agent, coordination chemistry, dimetallic, dinuclear, gadolinium, lanthanide, luminescence, macrocycle, macromolecule, magnetic resonance imaging, multilanthanide, optical imaging, PARACEST, rare earth, relaxivity, sensitized luminescence, trinuclear, MRI, nanomaterials