Rapid analytical CEST spectroscopy of competitive host–guest interactions using spatial parallelization with a combined approach of variable flip angle, keyhole and averaging (CAVKA)†
A serious limitation of high resolution 129Xe chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) NMR spectroscopy for comparing competitive host–guest interactions from different samples is the long acquisition time due to step-wise encoding of the chemical shift dimension. A method of optimized use of 129Xe spin magnetization to enable the accelerated and simultaneous acquisition of CEST spectra from multiple samples or regions in a setup is described. The method is applied to investigate the host–guest system of commercially available cucurbituril (CB7) and xenon with competing guests: cis-1,4-bis(aminomethyl)cyclohexane, cadaverine, and putrescine. Interactions with the different guests prove that the observed CEST signal is from a CB6 impurity and that CB7 itself does not produce a CEST signal. Instead, rapid interactions between xenon and CB7 manifest in the spectrum as a broad saturation response that could be suppressed by cis-1,4-bis(aminomethyl)cyclohexane. This guest prevents interactions at the CB7 portals. The suggested method represents a type of spectroscopic imaging that is capable of capturing the exchange kinetics information of systems that otherwise suffer from shortened T2 times and yields multiple spectra for comparing exchange conditions with a reduction of >95% in acquisition time. The spectral quality is sufficient to perform quantitative analysis and quantifications relative to a CB6 standard as well as relative to a known blocker concentration (putrescine) that both reveal an unexpectedly high CB6 impurity of ca. 8%.