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Molecular imaging offers great potential for noninvasive visualization and quantitation of the cellular and molecular components involved in atherosclerotic plaque stability. In this chapter, we review emerging molecular imaging modalities and approaches for quantitative, noninvasive detection of early biological processes in atherogenesis, including vascular endothelial permeability, endothelial adhesion molecule up-regulation, and macrophage accumulation, with special emphasis on mouse models. We also highlight a number of targeted imaging nanomaterials for assessment of advanced atherosclerotic plaques, including extracellular matrix degradation, proteolytic enzyme activity, and activated platelets using mouse models of atherosclerosis. The potential for clinical translation of molecular imaging nanomaterials for assessment of atherosclerotic plaque biology, together with multimodal approaches is also discussed.

Original publication




Journal article


Methods Mol Biol

Publication Date





61 - 83


Adhesion molecules, Atherosclerosis, Inflammation, Magnetic resonance imaging, Molecular imaging, Animals, Arteries, Atherosclerosis, Biomarkers, Blood Platelets, Contrast Media, Disease Models, Animal, Endothelial Cells, Macrophages, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Mice, Molecular Imaging, Plaque, Atherosclerotic