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Molecular Imaging of Infarcted Heart by Biofunctionalized Gold Nanoshells

Tamara Muñoz‐Ortiz; Jie Hu; Dirk H. Ortgies; Shreya Shrikhande; Paula Zamora‐Perez; Miriam Granado; Daniel González‐Hedström; María de la Fuente‐Fernández; Ángel Luis García‐Villalón; Laura Andrés‐Delgado; Emma Martín Rodríguez; Río Aguilar; Fernando Alfonso; José García Solé; Pilar Rivera Gil; Daniel Jaque; Fernando Rivero

The unique combination of physical and optical properties of silica (core)/gold (shell) nanoparticles (gold nanoshells) makes them especially suitable for biomedicine. Gold nanoshells are used from high‐resolution in vivo imaging to in vivo photothermal tumor treatment. Furthermore, their large scattering cross‐section in the second biological window (1000–1700 nm) makes them also especially adequate for molecular optical coherence tomography (OCT). In this work, it is demonstrated that, after suitable functionalization, gold nanoshells in combination with clinical OCT systems are capable of imaging damage in the myocardium following an infarct. Since both inflammation and apoptosis are two of the main mechanisms underlying myocardial damage after ischemia, such damage imaging is achieved by endowing gold nanoshells with selective affinity for the inflammatory marker intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM‐1), and the apoptotic marker phosphatidylserine. The results here presented constitute a first step toward a fast, safe, and accurate diagnosis of damaged tissue within infarcted hearts at the molecular level by means of the highly sensitive OCT interferometric technique.

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