Zahi Adel Fayad1
Atherosclerosis is characterized by the thickening of the arterial wall to form a plaque, a process in which cholesterol deposition, inflammation, extracellular-matrix formation and thrombosis have important roles. Traditionally, diagnosis of atherosclerosis was possible either by directly revealing the narrowing of the lumen or by evaluating the effect of the stenosis on organ perfusion. New imaging approaches allow the assessment of the composition of the vessel walls, enabling atherosclerosis-associated abnormalities in the arteries to be observed, at the cellular/molecular levels. We discuss the use of new nanoparticulates not only for imaging but also for drug delivery and treatment of atherosclerosis.