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Pellico, Juan; Lechuga-Vieco, Ana V.; Almarza, Elena; Hidalgo, Andres; Mesa-Nunez, Cristina; Fernandez-Barahona, Irene; Quintana, Juan A.; Bueren, Juan; Enriquez, Jose A.; Ruiz-Cabello, Jesus; Herranz, Fernando (2017): In vivo imaging of lung inflammation with neutrophil-specific Ga-68 nano-radiotracer. In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 7, 13242
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In vivo detection and quantification of inflammation is a major goal in molecular imaging. Furthermore, cell-specific detection of inflammation would be a tremendous advantage in the characterization of many diseases. Here, we show how this goal can be achieved through the synergistic combination of nanotechnology and nuclear imaging. One of the most remarkable features of this hybrid approach is the possibility to tailor the pharmacokinetics of the nanomaterial-incorporated biomolecule and radionuclide. A good example of this approach is the covalent binding of a large amount of a neutrophil-specific, hydrophobic peptide on the surface of Ga-68 core-doped nanoparticles. This new nano-radiotracer has been used for non-invasive in vivo detection of acute inflammation with very high in vivo labelling efficiency, i.e. a large percentage of labelled neutrophils. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the tracer is neutrophil-specific and yields images of neutrophil recruitment of unprecedented quality. Finally, the nano-radiotracer was successfully detected in chronic inflammation in atherosclerosis-prone ApoE(-/-) mice after several weeks on a high-fat diet.