Scott Charles Beeman1, Joseph F. Georges2, Lawrence Mandarino2, 3, Jorge Rakela4, Kevin M. Bennett1
1Bioengineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, United States; 2School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, United States; 3Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Scottsdale, AZ, United States; 4Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Scottsdale, AZ, United States
The goal of this work was to develop an MRI-based technique for detection of changes to the ECM of the hepatic sinusoid during chronic liver disease. Using cationic ferritin (CF), an ECM-targeted nanoparticle contrast agent, we show that T2* measurements in healthy animals decrease 50% after injection of CF while rats with chronic liver disease show no change in T2* after CF injection. This is likely due to the structural changes to the ECM that occur during chronic liver disease. These results suggest that MRI and CF may be used to detect ECM-specific changes in chronic liver diseases.