A benzimidazole functionalised DO3A chelator showing pH switchable coordination modes with lanthanide ions
The synthesis of a new macrocyclic chelator incorporating a benzimidazole heterocycle is reported. Lanthanide complexes with macrocyclic chelators based on 1,4,7,10-tetra(carboxymethyl)-1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane (DOTA) and 1,4,7-tris(carboxymethyl)-1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane (DO3A) are of interest in luminescent, radiopharmaceutical and magnetic resonance (MR) biomedical imaging applications. The benzimidazole DO3A chelator allows for sensitisation of europium(III), terbium(III) and ytterbium(III) luminescence by the heterocycle and also shows a pH dependent coordination change due to protonation of the chelator (pKa = 4.1 for the europium(III) complex). The thermodynamic stability of the complexes has been investigated by potentiometric titration with the gadolinium(III) complex showing significantly higher stability than the zinc(II) complex, where log βZnLH = 28.1 and log βGdLH = 32.1.