An overview of responsive MRI contrast agents for molecular imaging

Byunghee Yoo, Mark D. Pagel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


This review focuses on MR contrast agents that are responsive to a change in physiological environment. The "response" mechanisms are dependent on 6 physicochemical phenomena, including the accessibility of water to the agent, rotational tumbling time, proton exchange rate, electron spin state, MR frequency, or local field inhomogenieties caused by the agent. These phenomena can be affected by the physiological environment, including changes in concentrations or activities of proteins, enzymes, nucleic acids, metabolites, oxygen and metal ions, and changes in pH and temperature. A total of 52 examples are presented, which demonstrate the variety and creativity of different approaches used to create responsive MRI contrast agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1733-1752
Number of pages20
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2008


  • MRI
  • Molecular imaging
  • Relaxivity
  • Responsive contrast agents
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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