Cyclodextrin-Linked Polyvalent Ligands


Cyclodextrins are non-toxic and biodegradable glucose-based macrocyclic molecules with a central cavity. They can be produced at industrial scales in low costs, and they have found wide-spread utility in pharmaceutical and food industries. Chemical modifications can provide cyclodextrin derivatives with additional functionalities for different applications. During recent years, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become one of the most powerful and versatile diagnostic tools in clinical medicine. Currently, 35% of MRI scans require the use of a contrast agent to enhance the sensitivity and resolution of the images. Gadolinium (III)-based complexes are the main contrast agents used in MRI.

Researchers at the University of Calgary have developed a family of polyvalent ligands that can be synthesized in large quantities. They have been found to bind to gadolinium (III) in a very high affinity comparable to dodecane tetraacetic acid (DOTA), and they also show the capability to complex other transition metals including those that have therapeutic activities.



  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Metal-based therapeutic medicine and technologies
  • Heavy metal detoxification and sequestration in water treatment
  • Mining
  • Recovery of precious metals and radioactive materials



  • Biodegradable
  • Water soluble
  • Synthesized in large scales from inexpensive starting materials