A variety of polymeric nanoparticles have been developed for bioimaging applications. This study reports on the use of a 50 nm recombinant protein nanoparticle with a multivalent surface as a vehicle for functionalization with a model imaging agent. Multiple fluorescent probes were covalently conjugated to surface amines of crosslinked amphiphilic elastin-mimetic proteinmicelles using N-hydroxysuccinimide ester chemistry. In vivo fluorescence imaging confirmed that proteinmicelles selectively accumulated at sites of angioplasty induced vessel wall injury, presumably via an enhanced permeability and retention effect. This investigation demonstrates the potential of amphiphilicproteinmicelles to be used as a vehicle for selective imaging of sites associated with a disrupted or leaky endothelium.
This paper was originally published in Acta Biomaterialia (2012) 8, 2476-2482.