Active foamy macrophage enrichment drives atherosclerotic plaque initiation and evolution, and is the prominent target for precisely identifying vulnerable plaque. Precise imaging of high-risk plaque allows promotion of treatment and prevention of vascular pathema. However, current iron oxide (IO) nanoparticles-based magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of plaque is often limited by insufficient perfusion and nonspecific accumulation of peri-aortic lymph nodes. Besides that, intrinsic defects of MR also impede its use for accurately identifying plaque details. Herein, by conjugating with PP1 peptide, a novel magnetic mesoporous silica nanoparticle (PIMI) loaded with near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) dye (IR820) was fabricated to specifically target and quantify macrophage enrichment of atherosclerotic plaque in ApoE mice using dual MR/NIRF imaging. Biocompatibility experiments ulteriorly confirmed the high safety of PIMI nanoparticles in vivo, which lays the foundation of next-generation contrast agent for recognizing macrophage-rich plaque in the near future.Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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