Atherosclerosis is a leading cause of death globally. Targeted imaging and therapeutics are desirable for the detection and treatment of the disease.
Recently, the research group led by Prof. Zongqiang Cui in WIV developed trifunctional Simian virus 40 (SV40)-based nanoparticles for in vivo targeting and imaging of atherosclerotic plaques. These novel trifunctional SV40-based nanoparticles encapsulate near-infrared quantum dots and bear a targeting element and a drug component.
Using trifunctional SV40-based nanoparticles, the scientists were able to noninvasively fluorescently image atherosclerotic plaques in live intact ApoE(−/−) mice. Near-infrared quantum dots encapsulated in the SV40 virus-like particles showed prominent optical properties for in vivo imaging. When targeting peptides for vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, macrophages, and fibrin were used, early, developmental, and late stages of atherosclerosis could be targeted and imaged in live intact ApoE(−/−) mice, respectively. Targeted SV40 virus-like particles also delivered an increased concentration of the anticoagulant drug Hirulog to atherosclerosis plaques.
This study provides novel SV40-based nanoparticles with multivalency and multifunctionality suitable for in vivo imaging, molecular targeting, and drug delivery in atherosclerosis.
This paper was published online in Nano Letters. Their study was supported by grants from National Basic Research Program of China, the National Natural Science Foundation of China and Chinese Academy of Sciences.