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Aptamer-Crosslinked Microbubbles: Smart Contrast Agents for Thrombin-Activated Ultrasound Imaging

Authors

  • Matthew A. Nakatsuka,

    1. Department of Nanoengineering, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr. #0448, La Jolla, CA 92093-0448, USA
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  • Robert F. Mattrey,

    1. Department of Radiology, University of California, San Diego, 410 Dickinson St. San Diego, CA 92121, USA
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  • Sadik C. Esener,

    1. Department of Nanoengineering, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr. #0448, La Jolla, CA 92093-0448, USA
    2. Department. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr. #0407, La Jolla, CA 92093-0407, USA
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  • Jennifer N. Cha,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Nanoengineering, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr. #0448, La Jolla, CA 92093-0448, USA
    2. University of Colorado, Boulder, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, 596 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
    • Department of Nanoengineering, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr. #0448, La Jolla, CA 92093-0448, USA.
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  • Andrew P. Goodwin

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Nanoengineering, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr. #0448, La Jolla, CA 92093-0448, USA
    2. University of Colorado, Boulder, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, 596 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
    • Department of Nanoengineering, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr. #0448, La Jolla, CA 92093-0448, USA.
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Abstract

Thrombosis, or malignant blood clotting, is associated with numerous cardiovascular diseases and cancers. A microbubble contrast agent is presented that produces ultrasound harmonic signal only when exposed to elevated thrombin levels. Initially silent microbubbles are activated in the presence of both thrombin-spiked and freshly clotting blood in three minutes with detection limits of 20 nM thrombin and 2 aM microbubbles.

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