Thrombo-tag, an in vivo formed nanotracer for the detection of thrombi in mice by fast pre-targeted molecular imaging†
Radioisotope-labelled nanoparticles permit novel applications in molecular imaging, while recent developments in imaging have enabled direct visualization of biological processes. While this holds true for pathological processes that are stable in time, such as cancer, imaging approaches are limited for phenomena that take place in the range of minutes, such as thrombotic events. Here, we take advantage of bioorthogonal chemistry to demonstrate the concept of nanoparticle-based fast pre-targeted imaging. Using a newly designed nanoparticle that targets platelets we show the applicability of this approach developing thrombo-tag, an in vivo produced nanoparticle that labels thrombi. We show that thrombo-tag allows specific labelling of platelets that accumulate in the injured pulmonary vasculature, or that aggregate in brains of mice suffering thrombotic processes. The fast kinetics and high specificity features of thrombo-tag may critically expand the application of molecular imaging to the most prevalent and debilitating diseases in the clinics.