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 Cancer cells make blood vessels drug resistant during chemotherapy
02.07.2020 | Hokkaido University

nachricht Novel potassium channel activator which acts as a potential anticonvulsant discovered
02.07.2020 | The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine

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: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

Im Focus: Gentle wall contact – the right scenario for a fusion power plant

Quasi-continuous power exhaust developed as a wall-friendly method on ASDEX Upgrade

A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...

Im Focus: ILA Goes Digital – Automation & Production Technology for Adaptable Aircraft Production

Live event – July 1, 2020 - 11:00 to 11:45 (CET)
"Automation in Aerospace Industry @ Fraunhofer IFAM"

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM l Stade is presenting its forward-looking R&D portfolio for the first time at...

Im Focus: AI monitoring of laser welding processes - X-ray vision and eavesdropping ensure quality

With an X-ray experiment at the European Synchrotron ESRF in Grenoble (France), Empa researchers were able to demonstrate how well their real-time acoustic monitoring of laser weld seams works. With almost 90 percent reliability, they detected the formation of unwanted pores that impair the quality of weld seams. Thanks to a special evaluation method based on artificial intelligence (AI), the detection process is completed in just 70 milliseconds.

Laser welding is a process suitable for joining metals and thermoplastics. It has become particularly well established in highly automated production, for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International conference QuApps shows status quo of quantum technology

02.07.2020 | Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rising water temperatures could endanger the mating of many fish species

03.07.2020 | Life Sciences

Risk of infection with COVID-19 from singing: First results of aerosol study with the Bavarian Radio Chorus

03.07.2020 | Studies and Analyses

Efficient, Economical and Aesthetic: Researchers Build Electrodes from Leaves

03.07.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>