Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Non-invasive imaging technique detects plaques beginning to form in vessels

20.11.2002


A new imaging method successfully identifies miniscule, young blood vessels that form during the development of plaques, according to a study in rabbits led by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. These plaques are akin to atherosclerosis in humans, the primary cause of heart attack and stroke.



"We’ve developed a way to take non-invasive images of very early plaques, before they’re detectable by any other means," says Samuel A. Wickline, M.D., professor of medicine and biomedical engineering and one of the study’s senior authors. "This same technology, we think, will allow us to detect very early cancers and other inflammatory events as well."

Patrick M. Winter, Ph.D., research instructor of medicine and first author of the study, presented the team’s results Nov. 19 during the Russell Ross Memorial Lecture and New Frontiers in Atherosclerosis at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2002 in Chicago. Gregory M. Lanza, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine and biomedical engineering, is co-senior author.


Wickline also presented an overview of molecular imaging and nanotechnology at the Molecular Basis for Cardiac Imaging session.

Atherosclerosis – the progressive hardening of arteries – results from the accumulation of plaques in key blood vessels. In order for plaques to form, a crowd of smaller vessels, called capillaries, must develop around the diseased site.

In this study, the team used a relatively new imaging method – developed primarily at Washington University – to label growing capillaries, thereby identifying locations where plaques are about to form. They loaded an extremely small particle roughly 200 nanometers long, called a nanoparticle, with about 80,000 atoms of gadolinium, which shows up as a bright spot on a magnetic resonance image (MRI). Other carriers for gadolinium hold only a few such atoms at a time, and therefore result in less bright images.

In order to ensure that gadolinium highlighted only new capillaries, the team also packed the nanoparticle with molecules that specifically detect a protein called avb3, which is abundant in rapidly growing capillaries. In so doing, the nanoparticles mainly latched onto cells that contain avb3.

"You can load these nanoparticles with whatever you want, like a Mr. Potato Head," Wickline explains. "The targeting agent allows us to select where the particle goes, and then we can either add an imaging agent, like gadolinium, or a drug, like plaque stabilizing medications or anticancer agents."

The team injected nanoparticles loaded with avb3 detectors and gadolinium into 13 rabbits. Four of the rabbits had been fed normal diets and nine had been fed high-cholesterol diets for about 80 days. They then took MRI scans of the abdominal aorta – the largest artery in the body – for two hours after injection. The cholesterol-fed rabbits injected with targeted nanoparticles had gadolinium signals in the abdominal aorta more than twice as bright as the other rabbits.

Post-mortem examination confirmed that the cholesterol-fed animals were in fact developing dangerous capillaries around the aorta, in contrast to the control diet rabbits.

"These preliminary results suggest that we can manipulate nanoparticles to image plaques as they are just beginning to form," says Wickline. "Previous research of ours also suggests that this technique can distinguish between patients with stable plaques from those whose plaques are about to rupture and thereby cause a heart attack or stroke."

Because tumors also require new populations of capillaries, the team believes this technique will enable them to detect very early cancers at the beginning stages of tumor development.


The technology used in this study has been licensed to KEREOS Inc., which is devoted to molecular imaging and targeted therapeutics. Gregory M. Lanza, M.D., Ph.D., and Samuel A. Wickline, M.D., are co-founders of KEREOS and both are board members and equity holders.

Winter PM, Caruthers SD, Schmeider A, Harris TD, Chinen L, Williams T, Watkins MP, Allen JS, Wickline SA, Lanza GM. Molecular imaging of angiogenesis in atherosclerotic rabbits by MRI at 1.5T with avb3 targeted nanoparticles, American Heart Association, Nov. 19, 2002.

Wickline SA, Lanza GM. Nanotechnology for molecular imaging and targeted therapeutics. American Heart Association, Nov. 17, 2002.

Funding from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the National Cancer Institute and Philips Medical Systems supported this research. Bristol-Myers Squibb Medical Imaging provided materials for the study.

The full-time and volunteer faculty of Washington University School of Medicine are the physicians and surgeons of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient-care institutions in the nation. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.

Gila Z. Reckess | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://medinfo.wustl.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Custom-tailored strategy against glioblastomas
26.09.2016 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New leukemia treatment offers hope
23.09.2016 | King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First quantum photonic circuit with electrically driven light source

Optical quantum computers can revolutionize computer technology. A team of researchers led by scientists from Münster University and KIT now succeeded in putting a quantum optical experimental set-up onto a chip. In doing so, they have met one of the requirements for making it possible to use photonic circuits for optical quantum computers.

Optical quantum computers are what people are pinning their hopes on for tomorrow’s computer technology – whether for tap-proof data encryption, ultrafast...

Im Focus: OLED microdisplays in data glasses for improved human-machine interaction

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.

“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...

Im Focus: Artificial Intelligence Helps in the Discovery of New Materials

With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...

Im Focus: Complex hardmetal tools out of the 3D printer

For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.

Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...

Im Focus: Launch of New Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing

At AKL’16, the International Laser Technology Congress held in May this year, interest in the topic of process control was greater than expected. Appropriately, the event was also used to launch the Industry Working Group for Process Control in Laser Material Processing. The group provides a forum for representatives from industry and research to initiate pre-competitive projects and discuss issues such as standards, potential cost savings and feasibility.

In the age of industry 4.0, laser technology is firmly established within manufacturing. A wide variety of laser techniques – from USP ablation and additive...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Laser use for neurosurgery and biofabrication - LaserForum 2016 focuses on medical technology

27.09.2016 | Event News

Experts from industry and academia discuss the future mobile telecommunications standard 5G

23.09.2016 | Event News

ICPE in Graz for the seventh time

20.09.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

‘Missing link’ found in the development of bioelectronic medicines

27.09.2016 | Life Sciences

A blue stoplight to prevent runaway photosynthesis

27.09.2016 | Life Sciences

Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger

27.09.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>