MRI-visible polymer based on poly(methyl methacrylate) for imaging applications†
Macromolecular contrast agents are very attractive to afford efficient magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) visualization of implantable medical devices. In this work, we report on the grafting of a Gd-based DTPA contrast agent onto a poly(methyl methacrylate) derivative backbone by combining free radical polymerization and copper-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC). Using free radical polymerization, poly(methyl methacrylate-co-propargyl methacrylate) copolymers were prepared with a control of the ratio in propargyl methacrylate monomer units. The synthesis of a new azido mono-functionalized DTPA ligand was also reported and characterized by 1H NMR and mass spectroscopy. After complexation with gadolinium, this ligand has been grafted on the polymer backbone by click chemistry reaction. The obtained macromolecular contrast agent was then coated on a polypropylene mesh using the airbrushing technique and the mesh was assessed for MRI visualization at 7 teslas. The polymeric contrast agent was also tested for cytocompatibility and stability to assess its suitability for biomedical applications.