Special Collection: Molecular Imaging
- Ultrasound molecular imaging has been developed in the past two decades with the goal of non-invasively imaging disease phenotypes on a cellular level not depicted on anatomic imaging. Such techniques already play a role in pre-clinical research for the assessment of disease mechanisms and drug effects, and are thought to in the future contribute to earlier diagnosis of disease, assessment of therapeutic effects and patient-tailored therapy in the clinical field. In this review, we first describe the chemical composition and structure as well as the in vivo behavior of the ultrasound contrast agents that have been developed for molecular imaging.
- This study details the development, characterization and non-clinical efficacy of an ultrasound molecular imaging agent intended for molecular imaging of P-selectin in humans. A targeting ligand based on a recently discovered human selectin ligand was manufactured as fusion protein, and activity for human and mouse P- and E-selectin was evaluated by functional immunoassay. The targeting ligand was covalently conjugated to a lipophilic anchor inserted into a phospholipid microbubble shell. Three lots of the targeted microbubble drug product, TS-07-009, were produced, and assays for size distribution, zeta potential and morphology were established.
- Arginine–glycine–aspartate (RGD)-carrying microbubbles (MBs) have been utilized as a specific contrast agent for glycoprotein IIb/IIIa (αIIbβ3 integrin)-expressing activated platelets in ultrasound molecular imaging. Recently, we found that surface modification with lactadherin provides the RGD motif on the surface of phosphatidylserine-containing clinically available MBs, Sonazoid. Here, we examined the potential of lactadherin-bearing Sonazoid MBs to be targeted MBs for glycoprotein IIb/IIIa using the custom-designed in vitro settings with recombinant αIIbβ3 integrin, activated platelets or erythrocyte-rich human clots.
- The aim of this study was to evaluate a panel of endothelium-targeted microbubble (MB) ultrasound contrast agents bearing small peptide ligands as a human-ready approach for molecular imaging of markers of high-risk atherosclerotic plaque. Small peptide ligands with established affinity for human P-selectin, VCAM-1, LOX-1 and von Willebrand factor (VWF) were conjugated to the surface of lipid-stabilized MBs. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) molecular imaging of the thoracic aorta was performed in wild-type and gene-targeted mice with advanced atherosclerosis (DKO).