[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) are characterized by elevated atherogenic lipoprotein particles, predominantly low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), which is associated with accelerated atherogenesis and increased cardiovascular risk.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 10/2014; 64(14):1418-26. · 15.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Understanding how leukocytes impact atherogenesis contributes critically to our concept of atherosclerosis development and the identification of potential therapeutic targets.
The study evaluates an in vivo imaging approach to visualize peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) accumulation in atherosclerotic lesions of cardiovascular (CV) patients using hybrid single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT).
At baseline, CV patients and healthy controls underwent 18fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography-computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging to assess arterial wall inflammation and dimensions, respectively. For in vivo trafficking, autologous PBMCs were isolated, labeled with technetium-99m, and visualized 3, 4.5, and 6 h post-infusion with SPECT/CT.
Ten CV patients and 5 healthy controls were included. Patients had an increased arterial wall inflammation (target-to-background ratio [TBR] right carotid 2.00 ± 0.26 in patients vs. 1.51 ± 0.12 in controls; p = 0.022) and atherosclerotic burden (normalized wall index 0.52 ± 0.09 in patients vs. 0.33 ± 0.02 in controls; p = 0.026). Elevated PBMC accumulation in the arterial wall was observed in patients; for the right carotid, the arterial-wall-to-blood ratio (ABR) 4.5 h post-infusion was 2.13 ± 0.35 in patients versus 1.49 ± 0.40 in controls (p = 0.038). In patients, the ABR correlated with the TBR of the corresponding vessel (for the right carotid: r = 0.88; p < 0.001).
PBMC accumulation is markedly enhanced in patients with advanced atherosclerotic lesions and correlates with disease severity. This study provides a noninvasive imaging tool to validate the development and implementation of interventions targeting leukocytes in atherosclerosis.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 09/2014; 64(10):1019–1029. · 15.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Advances in preclinical molecular imaging have generated new opportunities to noninvasively visualize the biodistribution and tumor targeting of nanoparticle therapeutics. Capitalizing on recent achievements in this area, we sought to develop an (89)Zr-based labeling strategy for liposomal nanoparticles that accumulate in tumors via passive targeting mechanisms.
Journal of Nuclear Medicine 07/2014; · 5.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bioengineering provides unique opportunities to better understand and manage atherosclerotic disease. The field is entering a new era that merges the latest biological insights into inflammatory disease processes with targeted imaging and nanomedicine. Preclinical cardiovascular molecular imaging allows the in vivo study of targeted nanotherapeutics specifically directed toward immune system components that drive atherosclerotic plaque development and complication. The first multicenter trials highlight the potential contribution of multimodality imaging to more efficient drug development. This review describes how the integration of engineering, nanotechnology, and cardiovascular immunology may yield precision diagnostics and efficient therapeutics for atherosclerosis and its ischemic complications.
Science translational medicine 06/2014; 6(239):239sr1. · 14.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inflammation is a key feature of atherosclerosis and a target for therapy. Statins have potent anti-inflammatory properties but these cannot be fully exploited with oral statin therapy due to low systemic bioavailability. Here we present an injectable reconstituted high-density lipoprotein (rHDL) nanoparticle carrier vehicle that delivers statins to atherosclerotic plaques. We demonstrate the anti-inflammatory effect of statin-rHDL in vitro and show that this effect is mediated through the inhibition of the mevalonate pathway. We also apply statin-rHDL nanoparticles in vivo in an apolipoprotein E-knockout mouse model of atherosclerosis and show that they accumulate in atherosclerotic lesions in which they directly affect plaque macrophages. Finally, we demonstrate that a 3-month low-dose statin-rHDL treatment regimen inhibits plaque inflammation progression, while a 1-week high-dose regimen markedly decreases inflammation in advanced atherosclerotic plaques. Statin-rHDL represents a novel potent atherosclerosis nanotherapy that directly affects plaque inflammation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Therapeutic and diagnostic nanomaterials are being intensely studied for several diseases, including cancer and atherosclerosis. However, the exact mechanism by which nanomedicines accumulate at targeted sites remains a topic of investigation, especially in the context of atherosclerotic disease. Models to accurately predict transvascular permeation of nanomedicines are needed to aid in design optimization. Here we show that an endothelialized microchip with controllable permeability can be used to probe nanoparticle translocation across an endothelial cell layer. To validate our in vitro model, we studied nanoparticle translocation in an in vivo rabbit model of atherosclerosis using a variety of preclinical and clinical imaging methods. Our results reveal that the translocation of lipid-polymer hybrid nanoparticles across the atherosclerotic endothelium is dependent on microvascular permeability. These results were mimicked with our microfluidic chip, demonstrating the potential utility of the model system.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2014; · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lipid coated nanocrystal assemblies are among the most extensively investigated nanoparticle platforms for biomedical imaging and therapeutic purposes. However, very few efforts have been addressed to the lipid coating exchange dynamics in such systems, which is key to our understanding of the nanoparticles' coating stability and their interactions with the environment. Here, we apply the Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) from quantum dot (QD) core to Cy5.5 dye labeled lipids at the surface to monitor the lipid exchange dynamics in situ and to study its dependence on concentration, temperature and solvent. A kinetic model is developed to describe the experimental data, allowing the rate constants and the activation energy for lipid exchange to be determined. The activation energy for lipid exchange on QD micelles is 155 kJ/mol in saline environment and 130 kJ/mol in pure water. The findings presented here provide basic knowledge on these self-assembled structures and contribute to understanding their performance and to further design of nanomedicine.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the current study we show the dissociation and tumor accumulation dynamics of dual-labeled near-infrared quantum dot core self-assembled lipidic nanoparticles (SALNPs) in a mouse model upon intravenous administration. Using advanced in vivo fluorescence energy transfer imaging techniques, we observed swift exchange with plasma protein components in the blood and progressive SALNP dissociation and subsequent trafficking of individual SALNP components following tumor accumulation. Our results suggest that upon intravenous administration SALNPs quickly transform, which may affect their functionality. The presented technology provides a modular in vivo tool to visualize SALNP behavior in real time and may contribute to improving the therapeutic outcome or molecular imaging signature of SALNPs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Low density lipoprotein (LDL) plays a critical role in cholesterol transport and is closely linked to the progression of several diseases. This motivates the development of methods to study LDL behavior from the microscopic to whole-body level. We have developed an approach to efficiently load LDL with a range of diagnostically active nanocrystals or hydrophobic agents. We performed focused experiments on LDL labeled with gold nanocrystals (Au-LDL). The labeling procedure had minimal effect on LDL size, morphology or composition. Biological function was found to be maintained from both in vitro and in vivo experiments. Tumor bearing mice were injected intravenously with LDL, DiR-LDL, Au-LDL or a gold-loaded nanoemulsion. LDL accumulation in the tumors was detected with whole body imaging methods, such as computed tomography (CT), spectral CT and fluorescence imaging. Cellular localization was studied with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and fluorescence techniques. In conclusion, this LDL labeling procedure should permit the study of lipoprotein biointeractions in unprecedented detail.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is a natural nanoparticle that transports peripheral cholesterol to the liver. Reconstituted high-density lipoprotein (rHDL) exhibits anti-atherothrombotic properties and is being considered as a natural treatment for cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, HDL nanoparticle platforms have been created for targeted delivery of therapeutic and diagnostic agents. The current methods for HDL reconstitution involve lengthy procedures that are challenging to scale up. A central need in the synthesis of rHDL, and multifunctional nanomaterials in general, is to establish large-scale production of reproducible and homogeneous batches in a simple and efficient fashion. Here, we present a large-scale microfluidics-based manufacturing method for single-step synthesis of HDL-mimicking nanomaterials (μHDL). μHDL is shown to have the same properties (e.g. size, morphology, bioactivity) as conventionally rHDL and native HDL. In addition, we were able to incorporate simvastatin (a hydrophobic drug) into μHDL, as well as gold, iron oxide, quantum dot nanocrystals or fluorophores to enable its detection by computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or fluorescence microscopy, respectively. Our approach may contribute to effective development and optimization of lipoprotein-based nanomaterials for medical imaging and drug delivery.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the past two decades advances in the development of targeted nanoparticles have facilitated their application as molecular imaging agents and targeted drug delivery vehicles. Nanoparticle-enhanced molecular imaging of the angiogenic tumor vasculature has been of particular interest. Not only because angiogenesis plays an important role in various pathologies, but also since endothelial cell surface receptors are directly accessible for relatively large circulating nanoparticles. Typically, nanoparticle targeting towards these receptors is studied by analyzing the contrast distribution on tumor images acquired before and at set time points after administration. Although several exciting proof-of-concept studies demonstrated qualitative assessment of relative target concentration and distribution, these studies did not provide quantitative information on the nanoparticle targeting kinetics. These kinetics will not only depend on nanoparticle characteristics, but also on receptor binding and recycling. In this study, we monitored the in vivo targeting kinetics of αvβ3-integrin specific nanoparticles with intravital microscopy and dynamic contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging, and using compartment modeling we were able to quantify nanoparticle targeting rates. As such, this approach can facilitate optimization of targeted nanoparticle design and it holds promise for providing more quantitative information on in vivo receptor levels. Interestingly, we also observed a periodicity in the accumulation kinetics of αvβ3-integrin targeted nanoparticles and hypothesize that this periodicity is caused by receptor binding, internalization and recycling dynamics. Taken together, this demonstrates that our experimental approach provides new insights in in vivo nanoparticle targeting, which may proof useful for vascular targeting in general.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: For advanced treatment of diseases such as cancer, multi-component, multi-functional nanoparticles hold great promise. In the current study we report the synthesis of a complex nanoparticle (NP) system with dual drug loading as well as diagnostic properties. To that aim we present a methodology where chemically modified poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) polymer is formulated into a polymer-lipid NP that contains a cytotoxic drug doxorubicin (DOX) in the polymeric core and an anti-angiogenic drug sorafenib (SRF) in the lipidic corona. The NP core also contains gold nanocrystals (AuNCs) for imaging purposes and cyclodextrin molecules to maximize the DOX encapsulation in the NP core. In addition, a near infrared (NIR) Cy7 dye was incorporated in the coating. To fabricate the NP we used a microfluidics-based technique that offers unique NP synthesis conditions, which allowed for encapsulation and fine tuning of optimal ratios of all the NP components. NP phantoms could be visualized with computed tomography (CT) and near infrared (NIR) fluorescence imaging. We observed timed release of the encapsulated drugs, with fast release of the corona drug SRF and delayed release of a core drug DOX. In tumor bearing mice intravenously administered NPs were found to accumulate at the tumor site by fluorescence imaging.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a multifunctional nanoparticle platform that has targeting moieties shielded by a matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP2) cleavable PEG coating. Upon incubation with MMP2 this surface-switchable coating is removed and the targeting ligands become available for binding. The concept was evaluated in vitro using biotin and αvβ3-integrin-specific RGD-peptide functionalized nanoparticles.
Chemical Communications 07/2013; · 6.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The important role of monocytes and macrophages in diseases like cancer and atherosclerosis has started to get uncovered in the last decade. In addition, subsets of these cell types are believed to participate in the initiation and aggravation of several diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease. For this reason, monocytes and macrophages have recently been identified as interesting targets for both diagnosis and treatment of the aforementioned pathologies. Compared with free therapeutic or imaging agents, nanoparticle formulations provide several advantages that improve the pharmacokinetics and bioavailability of these agents. In addition, the possibility of surface functionalization creates numerous ways to optimize nanoparticle delivery. Recent advances in nanomedicine have led to the development of multifunctional nanoparticles that allow simultaneous diagnosis and treatment of monocytes and macrophages with high specificity. Relying on the inherent ability of monocytes and macrophages to easily take up foreign particles, the use of nanoparticles provides a precious opportunity for the management of several inflammatory diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously reported enhancing the imaging of atherosclerotic plaques in mice using reconstituted high density lipoproteins (HDL) as nano-carriers for the MRI contrast agent gadolinium (Gd). This study focuses on the underlying mechanisms of Gd delivery to atherosclerotic plaques. HDL, LDL and VLDL particles containing Gd chelated to phosphatidyl ethanolamine (DTPA-DMPE) and a lipidic fluorophore, were used to demonstrate the transfer of Gd-phospholipids among plasma lipoproteins in vitro and in vivo. To determine the basis of this transfer, the roles of phospholipid transfer protein (PLTP) and lipoprotein lipase (LpL) in mediating the migration of Gd-DTPA-DMPE among lipoproteins were investigated. The results indicated that neither was an important factor, suggesting that spontaneous transfer of Gd-DTPA-DMPE was the most probable mechanism. Finally, two independent mouse models were used to quantify the relative contributions of HDL and LDL reconstituted with Gd-DTPA-DMPE to plaque imaging enhancement by MR. Both sets of results suggested that Gd-DTPA-DMPE originally associated with LDL was about twice as effective as that injected in the form of Gd-HDL, and that some of Gd-HDL's effectiveness in vivo is indirect through transfer of the imaging agent to LDL. In conclusion, the fate of Gd-DTPA-DMPE associated with a particular lipoprotein species is complex, and includes its transfer to other lipoprotein species, which are then cleared from the plasma into tissues.