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Real-time detection of implant-associated neutrophil responses using a formyl peptide receptor-targeting NIR nanoprobe

Authors Zhou J, Tsai Y, Weng H, Tang EN, Nair A, Digant D, Tang L

Received 15 January 2012

Accepted for publication 17 February 2012

Published 3 May 2012 Volume 2012:7 Pages 2057—2068


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Jun Zhou*, Yi-Ting Tsai*, Hong Weng, Ewin N Tang, Ashwin Nair, Digant P Davé, Liping Tang, Department of Bioengineering, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX

*Both authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Neutrophils play an important role in implant-mediated inflammation and infection. Unfortunately, current methods which monitor neutrophil activity, including enzyme measurements and histological evaluation, require many animals and cannot be used to accurately depict the dynamic cellular responses. To understand the neutrophil interactions around implant-mediated inflammation and infection it is critical to develop methods which can monitor in vivo cellular activity in real time. In this study, formyl peptide receptor (FPR)-targeting near-infrared nanoprobes were fabricated. This was accomplished by conjugating near-infrared dye with specific peptides having a high affinity to the FPRs present on activated neutrophils. The ability of FPR-targeting nanoprobes to detect and quantify activated neutrophils was assessed both in vitro and in vivo. As expected, FPR-targeting nanoprobes preferentially accumulated on activated neutrophils in vitro. Following transplantation, FPR-targeting nanoprobes preferentially accumulated at the biomaterial implantation site. Equally important, a strong relationship was observed between the extent of fluorescence intensity in vivo and the number of recruited neutrophils at the implantation site. Furthermore, FPR-targeting nanoprobes may be used to detect and quantify the number of neutrophils responding to a catheter-associated infection. The results show that FPR-targeting nanoprobes may serve as a powerful tool to monitor and measure the extent of neutrophil responses to biomaterial implants in vivo.

Keywords: in vivo imaging, nanoprobe, neutrophils, inflammation, biocompatibility

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