Purpose: We investigated the early-stage fatty streaks/plaques detection using magnetomotive optical coherence tomography (MM-OCT) in conjunction with αvβ3 integrin-targeted magnetic microspheres (MSs). The targeting of functionalized MSs was investigated by perfusing ex vivo aortas from an atherosclerotic rabbit model in a custom-designed flow chamber at physiologically relevant pulsatile flow rates and pressures. Procedures: Aortas were extracted and placed in a flow chamber. Magnetic MS contrast agents were perfused through the aortas and MM-OCT, fluorescence confocal, and bright field microscopy were performed on the ex vivo aorta specimens for localizing the MSs. Results: The results showed a statistically significant and stronger MM-OCT signal (3.30 ± 1.73 dB) from the aorta segment perfused with targeted MSs, compared with the nontargeted MSs (1.18 ± 0.94 dB) and control (0.78 ± 0.41 dB) aortas. In addition, there was a good co-registration of MM-OCT signals with confocal microscopy. Conclusions: Early-stage fatty streaks/plaques have been successfully detected using MM-OCT in conjunction with αvβ3 integrin-targeted magnetic MSs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-43
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Imaging and Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • αβ integrin
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Fatty streaks
  • Flow chamber
  • Magnetomotive
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Protein microspheres

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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