Nature-inspired nanoformulations for contrast-enhanced in vivo MR imaging of macrophages
Alexander B. Sigalov 1
SignaBlok, Inc., Shrewsbury, MA, United
Macrophage imaging has important diagnostic and
prognostic value in cardiology, oncology and other
diseases. Nanoparticles that mimic native high density
lipoproteins (HDL) are a versatile delivery platform for
Gd-based MRI contrast agents (GBCA) but require
targeting moieties to direct the particles to
macrophages. In this study, using in vivo MRI,
immunohistology and confocal fluorescence microscopy, we
show that a naturally occurring modification of apo A-I
in GBCA-HDL targets the particles to intraplaque
macrophages in an apo E-deficient atherosclerotic mouse.
Synthetic apo A-I peptides were demonstrated to
functionally replace native apo A-I in these contrast
agents, encouraging their further development.
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