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A Folate-Conjugated Dual-Modal Fluorescent Magnetic Resonance Imaging Contrast Agent That Targets Activated Macrophages In Vitro and In Vivo

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Folate receptor (FR)-targeted, dual-modal fluorescent iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) with amphiphilic asymmetric shells that terminate with folic acid ([email protected]) and non-targeting [email protected]2 nanoparticles were used to examine inflammation-associated activated macrophages within carotid atherosclerotic plaques in apolipoprotein E–deficient (apoE–/–) mice. Experiments included in vitro iron oxide uptake in FR-positive, macrophagederived RAW264.7 cells and in vivo partial ligation of left carotid arteries in apoE–/– mice. 7.0T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of [email protected] and [email protected]2 treatment groups (6 mice/group) was performed before and 24 h after contrast administration. MNPs deposition was confirmed using Prussian blue staining and macrophage cells expressing FR-β and macrophage marker were detected by immunohistochemistry. RAW264.7 cells accumulated more [email protected] than [email protected]2. Inversely proportional loss of MRI signal intensity showed that carotid plaques absorbed significantly more injected [email protected] than [email protected]2. The [email protected] probe was shown to be an effective 2-photon fluorescent plaque imaging agent in vitro and ex vivo. It detects FR-β-enriched inflammatory plaques and has potential utility for monitoring atherosclerotic plaques.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2016

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  • Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (JBN) is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal providing broad coverage in all research areas focused on the applications of nanotechnology in medicine, drug delivery systems, infectious disease, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, and all other related fields of life sciences.
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