A Novel Diagnostics Tool for Detection of Vulnerable Plaque

photo of Dr. WongJoyce Wong, Ph.D.vul_plaque
Associate Professor –
Biomedical Engineering
Boston University –
College of Engineering

photo of Dr. HamiltonJames Hamilton, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor – Biomedical Engineering
Professor – Physiology and Biophysics
Boston University School of Medicine – Physiology

rubergFrederick Ruberg, M.D.
Assistant Professor – Medicine
Assistant Professor – Radiology
Director, Advanced Cardiovascular Imaging Program
Boston University School of Medicine

OBJECTIVE: To develop a non-invasive method for the detection and assessment of early-stage plaque.  Originally using a novel contrast agent particles that have specific ligands which target inflammation, a symptom of the presence of vulnerable plaque, the current technology uses an approved contrast agent and a clinical MRI system with known imaging sequences to generate a “vulnerability score”.  The current rabbit model allows for plaque rupture and confirmation of vulnerability score, with a strong correlation between rabbit aortae plaques and reported human plaque histology.

Center for Nanoscience and Nanobiotechnology