Hisanori Kosuge1, Toshiro Kitagawa1, Masaki Uchida2, Lars Liepold2, David Morris3, Peter E. Prevelige Jr.3, Trevor Douglas2, Michael V. McConnell1
1Cardiovascular Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, United States; 2Chemistry & Biochemistry, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, United States; 3Microbiology, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, United States
Protein cage nanoparticles (PCNs) have shown promise for molecular/cellular imaging of cardiovascular disease and cancer. PCNs incorporating iron oxide have been used as susceptibility agents for MRI, but T1-shortening agents are preferred clinically. The PCN structure can incorporate targeting peptides and can also enhance the T1 effect of Gd by slowing rotational correlation time and by providing multiple Gd binding domains. We demonstrate that Gd-based PCNs show strong r1 values in vitro plus signal enhancement in vivo of carotid and aortic vascular disease, with low Gd dosing.