Computed tomography (CT) is the current standard for time-critical decision-making in stroke patients, informing decisions on thrombolytic therapy with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), which has a narrow therapeutic index. We aimed to develop a CT-based method to directly visualize cerebrovascular thrombi and guide thrombolytic therapy. Glycol-chitosan-coated gold nanoparticles (GC-AuNPs) were synthesized and conjugated to fibrin-targeting peptides, forming fib-GC-AuNP. This targeted imaging agent and non-targeted control agent were characterized in vitro and in vivo in C57Bl/6 mice (n = 107) with FeCl3-induced carotid thrombosis and/or embolic ischemic stroke. Fibrin-binding capacity was superior with fib-GC-AuNPs compared to GC-AuNPs, with thrombi visualized as high density on microCT (mCT). mCT imaging using fib-GC-AuNP allowed the prompt detection and quantification of cerebral thrombi, and monitoring of tPA-mediated thrombolytic effect, which reflected histological stroke outcome. Furthermore, recurrent thrombosis could be diagnosed by mCT without further nanoparticle administration for up to 3 weeks. fib-GC-AuNP-based direct cerebral thrombus imaging greatly enhance the value and information obtainable by regular CT, has multiple uses in basic / translational vascular research, and will likely allow personalized thrombolytic therapy in clinic by a) optimizing tPA-dosing to match thrombus burden, b) enabling the rational triage of patients to more radical therapies such as endovascular clot-retrieval, and c) potentially serving as a theranostic platform for targeted delivery of concurrent thrombolysis.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2015 Ivyspring International Publisher.
- Cerebral infarction
- Computed tomography
- Direct thrombus imaging
- Gold nanoparticles
- Molecular imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)