Leukocyte mimetic polysaccharide microparticles tracked in vivo on activated endothelium and in abdominal aortic aneurysm

Thomas Bonnard, Jean Michel Serfaty, Clément Journé, Benoît Ho Tin Noe, Denis Arnaud, Liliane Louedec, Sidi Mohammed Derkaoui, Didier Letourneur, Cédric Chauvierre, Catherine Le Visage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We have developed injectable microparticles functionalized with fucoidan, in which sulfated groups mimic the anchor sites of P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 (PSGL-1), one of the principal receptors supporting leukocyte adhesion. These targeted microparticles were combined with a fluorescent dye and a T 2* magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent, and then tracked in vivo with small animal imaging methods. Microparticles of 2.5 μm were obtained by a water-in-oil emulsification combined with a cross-linking process of polysaccharide dextran, fluorescein isothiocyanate dextran, pullulan and fucoidan mixed with ultrasmall superparamagnetic particles of iron oxide. Fluorescent intravital microscopy observation revealed dynamic adsorption and a leukocyte-like behaviour of fucoidan-functionalized microparticles on a calcium ionophore induced an activated endothelial layer of a mouse mesentery vessel. We observed 20 times more adherent microparticles on the activated endothelium area after the injection of functionalized microparticles compared to non-functionalized microparticles (197 ± 11 vs. 10 ± 2). This imaging tool was then applied to rats presenting an elastase perfusion model of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) and 7.4 T in vivo MRI was performed. Visual analysis of T2*-weighted MR images showed a significant contrast enhancement on the inner wall of the aneurysm from 30 min to 2 h after the injection. Histological analysis of AAA cryosections revealed microparticles localized inside the aneurysm wall, in the same areas in which immunostaining shows P-selectin expression. The developed leukocyte mimetic imaging tool could therefore be relevant for molecular imaging of vascular diseases and for monitoring biologically active areas prone to rupture in AAA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3535-3545
Number of pages11
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Fucoidan
  • Intravital microscopy
  • MRI
  • P-selectin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine


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