Detection of atherosclerotic plaques with HDL-like porphyrin nanoparticles using an intravascular dual-modality optical coherence tomography and fluorescence system

Rouyan Chen, Lauren Sandeman, Victoria Nankivell, Joanne T.M. Tan, Mohammad Rashidi, Peter J. Psaltis, Gang Zheng, Christina Bursill, Robert A. McLaughlin, Jiawen Li

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Atherosclerosis is the build-up of fatty plaques within blood vessel walls, which can occlude the vessels and cause strokes or heart attacks. It gives rise to both structural and biomolecular changes in the vessel walls. Current single-modality imaging techniques each measure one of these two aspects but fail to provide insight into the combined changes. To address this, our team has developed a dual-modality imaging system which combines optical coherence tomography (OCT) and fluorescence imaging that is optimized for a porphyrin lipid nanoparticle that emits fluorescence and targets atherosclerotic plaques. Atherosclerosis-prone apolipoprotein (Apo)e-/- mice were fed a high cholesterol diet to promote plaque development in descending thoracic aortas. Following infusion of porphyrin lipid nanoparticles in atherosclerotic mice, the fiber-optic probe was inserted into the aorta for imaging, and we were able to robustly detect a porphyrin lipid-specific fluorescence signal that was not present in saline-infused control mice. We observed that the nanoparticle fluorescence colocalized in areas of CD68+ macrophages. These results demonstrate that our system can detect the fluorescence from nanoparticles, providing complementary biological information to the structural information obtained from simultaneously acquired OCT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12359
Number of pages1
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 29 May 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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