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Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • Valerie C Pierre
  • (612) 625-0921
Award Date:01/30/2012
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 600,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 600,000
  • FY 2014=$360,000
  • FY 2012=$240,000
Start Date:02/01/2012
End Date:01/31/2017
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.049
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:CAREER: Luminescent Lanthanide Probes for Biological Imaging of Metal Ions
Federal Award ID Number:1151665
DUNS ID:555917996
Parent DUNS ID:117178941
Program:Chemical Measurement & Imaging
Program Officer:
  • Lin He
  • (703) 292-4956

Awardee Location

Street:200 OAK ST SE
Awardee Cong. District:05

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Street:200 OAK ST SE
Cong. District:05

Abstract at Time of Award

The CAREER Award by the Chemical Measurement and Imaging Program of the Chemistry Division supports research and educational activities of Professor Valerie C. Pierre of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota, Twin-Cities to develop and promulgate novel luminescent sensors for the study of alkali ions in neurons. The approach employs coordination chemistry and the unique photophysical properties of lanthanide complexes as components in a predictive design strategy in the development of new sensors for group I ions, and the application of these sensors in cellular imaging. The ultimate goal is to produce new tools enabling the simultaneous and selective spatio-temporal imaging of multiple alkali cations in tissues. This work advances the field of lanthanide chemistry by investigating the electronic and geometric requirements of their sensitized luminescence, and the field of molecular recognition by investigating novel binding modes. The program involves graduate and undergraduate students, including underrepresented minorities, in interdisciplinary research and education. The educational activities are to promote science and research to undergraduate students, both from University of Minnesota and nearby community colleges, early in their career while nurturing their scientific creativity and instilling a solid foundation of research methodology via the creation of a series of workshops. During the semester, a small group of sophomore and junior undergraduate chemistry majors will be mentored into developing their own research project which they will subsequently perform in research groups in the Department. Students working in the group of Professor Pierre are expected to present their research to the broader scientific community through participation in regional and national meetings, and to publish results in widely circulated and respected journals.

Publications Produced as a Result of this Research

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Srivastava, K.; Weitz, E. A.; Peterson, K. L; Marjanska, M.; Pierre, V.C.* "Fe- and Ln-DOTAm-F12 are effective paramagnetic fluorine contrast agents for MRI in water and blood." Inorganic Chemistry, v.56, 2017, p.1546. doi:10.1021/acs.inorgchem.6b02631 

Weitz, E. A.; Chang, J.; Rosenfield, A. H.; Morrow, E.; Pierre, V. C. "The Basis for the Molecular Recognition and the Selective Time-Gated Luminescent Detection of ATP and GTP by a Lanthanide Complex" Chemical Science, v.4, 2013, p.4052. doi:10.1039/C3SC51583D 

Wickramaratne, T. M.; Pierre, V. C. "Turning an aptamer into a light-switch probe with a single bioconjugation" Bioconjugate Chemistry, v.26, 2016, p.63. doi:DOI: 10.1021/bc5003899 

Peterson, K. L.; Dang, J. L; Weitz, E. A.; Lewandowski, C.; Pierre, V. C. "Effect of lanthanide complex structure on cell viability and association" Inorganic Chemistry, v.53, 2014, p.6013. doi:DOI: 10.1021/ic500282n 

Peterson, K. L.; Margherio, M.; Doan, P.; Wilke, K. T.; Pierre, V. C. "The Basis for Sensitive and Selective Time-Delayed Luminescence Detection of Hydroxyl Radical by Lanthanide Complexes" Inorganic Chemistry, v.52, 2013, p.9390. doi:10.1021/ic4009569 

Project Outcomes Report


This Project Outcomes Report for the General Public is displayed verbatim as submitted by the Principal Investigator (PI) for this award. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Report are those of the PI and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation; NSF has not approved or endorsed its content.

The research funded by the NSF CAREER grant enabled us to develop a predictive design strategy based on the coordination chemistry of lanthanide ions and their unique photophysical properties of lanthanide complexes to develop new sensors for biologically relevant cations and anions. Two different strategies were exploited in the bottom-up design of our probes. The first class is based on the geometric requirements of the sensitized lanthanide luminescence. The second class exploits the electronic requirements of sensitized lanthanide luminescence. Our work demonstrated that the design strategy is different for each class of probes, and that the analytes targeted determines the strategy to be followed and the class of probe.  Regardless, the unique properties of lanthanide luminescence can lead to highly selective luminescent molecular probes. Although not as bright, most of our lanthanide probes are more selective than their organic counterparts. Our efforts led to the development of novel highly selective sensors for metal ions, including group I ions, copper, zinc and mercury. We further expanded our research to the detection of biologically relevant anions, notably ATP, the latter enabled rapid and direct monitoring of enzymes using ATP or GTP. Our work to understand the geometric requirements for lanthanide luminescence by NMR led us to further evaluate the approximation used for the determination of lanthanide-induced shifts. This in turn led to the development of novel, highly sensitive fluorine MRI probes and selective lanthanide-based probes for the detection of metal ions by NMR and MRI. Our research further determined the structural parameters that governed cell uptake and toxicity of lanthanide-based macrocyclic complexes. This in turn enabled us to direct our probe selectively for intra or extra-cellular applications, as needed. Beyond the development of new tools for the simultaneous imaging of ions in cells and biological media, the grant enabled training of both our graduate and undergraduate students. Our efforts toward training our undergraduate students for research expanded to many undergraduate students, including some from outside the University of Minnesota, such as Bemidji State University, which cannot provide research experience to their students. Many undergraduate students benefited from the training activities which resulted in co-authored publications in peer-reviewed journals, pre-doctoral fellowships, and successful applications to top graduate programs. Many of these students were minorities, including first generation undergraduate students.

Last Modified: 05/12/2017
Modified by: Valerie C Pierre

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