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Biomaterials. 2011 Oct;32(30):7651-61. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2011.06.030. Epub 2011 Jul 23.

Inflamed leukocyte-mimetic nanoparticles for molecular imaging of inflammation.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Dysregulated host inflammatory response causes many diseases, including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and sepsis. Sensitive detection of the site of inflammation will, therefore, produce a wide-ranging impact on disease diagnosis and treatment. We hypothesized that nanoprobes designed to mimic the molecular interactions occurring between inflamed leukocytes and endothelium may possess selectivity toward diverse host inflammatory responses. To incorporate inflammation-sensitive molecular interactions, super paramagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles were conjugated with integrin lymphocyte function-associated antigen (LFA)-1 I domain, engineered to mimic activated leukocytes in physiology. Whole body optical and magnetic resonance imaging in vivo revealed that leukocyte-mimetic nanoparticles localized preferentially to the vasculature within and in the invasive front of the tumor, as well as to the site of acute inflammation. This study explored in vivo detection of tumor-associated vasculature with systemically injected inflammation-specific nanoparticles, presenting a possibility of tumor detection by inflamed tumor microenvironment.

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