Intravascular optical imaging of high-risk plaques in vivo by targeting macrophage mannose receptors

Ji Bak Kim, Kyeongsoon Park, Jiheun Ryu, Jae Joong Lee, Min Woo Lee, Han Saem Cho, Hyeong Soo Nam, Ok Kyu Park, Joon Woo Song, Tae Shik Kim, Dong Joo Oh, Dae Gab Gweon, Wang Yuhl Oh, Hongki Yoo, Jin Won Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Macrophages mediate atheroma expansion and disruption, and denote high-risk arterial plaques. Therefore, they are substantially gaining importance as a diagnostic imaging target for the detection of rupture-prone plaques. Here, we developed an injectable near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) probe by chemically conjugating thiolated glycol chitosan with cholesteryl chloroformate, NIRF dye (cyanine 5.5 or 7), and maleimide-polyethylene glycol-mannose as mannose receptor binding ligands to specifically target a subset of macrophages abundant in high-risk plaques. This probe showed high affinity to mannose receptors, low toxicity, and allowed the direct visualization of plaque macrophages in murine carotid atheroma. After the scale-up of the MMR-NIRF probe, the administration of the probe facilitated in vivo intravascular imaging of plaque inflammation in coronary-sized vessels of atheromatous rabbits using a custom-built dual-modal optical coherence tomography (OCT)-NIRF catheter-based imaging system. This novel imaging approach represents a potential imaging strategy enabling the identification of high-risk plaques in vivo and holds promise for future clinical implications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number22608
JournalScientific reports
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 7
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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