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Abstract #0195

Nature-inspired nanoformulations for contrast-enhanced in vivo MR imaging of macrophages

Alexander B. Sigalov 1

1 SignaBlok, Inc., Shrewsbury, MA, United States

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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