Coordination Chemistry Research dedicated to Medical Imaging
The Research Group of “Rare(Earth)Metals” deals with coordination chemistry of biologically relevant (essential, or toxic) elements, and metal ions used in Medical Imaging (e.g. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, MRI; Positron Emission Tomography), and theraphy (Nuclear Medicine) of different groups of the Periodic Table (Alkali Earth-, RareEarth-, some Transition- and Earth-Metal). These metal ions form robust complexes with open chain and macrocyclic polyaza-policarboxylate, –polyphosphonate, –polyphospinate and –polyamidate ligans. The research involves the preparation of new ligands and complexes and detailed characterization of physico-chemical properties (equilibrium, formation and dissociation kinetics, relaxivity, structure in solid state and solution). Recently „smart” (pH-, Zn2+-, hypoxia-sensitive etc.) and bimodal (e.g. MRI-PET, MRI-optical) agents are also under study. 14 PhD thesis have been defended so far in the group founded by Dr. Ernő Brücher around 1970, directed by Dr. Imre Tóth for some time, and leaded by Dr. Gyula Tircsó since 2015. The Group of “Rare(earth)metals” has built up an extensive research network (e.g. Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, USA), therefore the students and young researchers have good chance to work in the partner-laboratories and learn new techniques there, while scientists from abroad are often visiting to Debrecen. Cooperations with pharmaceutical companies from Hungary and other countries are both traditional and fruitful.