Evaluating blood clot progression using magnetic particle spectroscopy

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Abstract

Purpose

To evaluate the thrombus maturity noninvasively providing the promise of much earlier and more accurate diagnosis of diseases ranging from stroke to myocardial infarction to deep vein thrombosis.

Methods

Magnetic spectroscopy of nanoparticle Brownian rotation (MSB), a form of magnetic particle spectroscopy sensitive to Brownian rotation of magnetic nanoparticles, was used for the detection and characterization of blood clots. The nanoparticles’ relaxation time was quantified by scaling the MSB spectra in frequency to match the spectra from nanoparticles in a reference state. The nanoparticles’ relaxation time, in the bound state, was used to characterize the nanoparticle binding to thrombin on the blood clot. The number of nanoparticles bound to the clot was also estimated. Both the relaxation time and the weight of bound nanoparticles were obtained for clots of several ages, reflecting different stages of development and organization. The impact of clot development was explored using functionalized nanoparticles present during clot formation.

Results

The relaxation time of the bound nanoparticles decreases for more mature, organized clots. The number of nanoparticles able to bind the clot diminishes quantitatively with clot age. On mature clots, the nanoparticles bind the thrombin on the surface while for developing clots the nanoparticles bind several thrombin molecules or become trapped in the clot matrix during formation.

Conclusions

By estimating the magnetic nanoparticles’ relaxation time the clot age and organization can be predicted. The purposed methods are quick and minimally invasive for in vivo applications.

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