Nanomaterials for the Investigation of Cardiovascular Health

Molecular imaging enables the examination of ongoing biological processes in living organisms.  Under pathological conditions, dysregulation of these processes allows for the design of probes for specific disease states.  This talk will focus on the applicability of nanoagents in the investigation of cardiovascular health and disease.  In the case of patients with end-stage renal disease, hemodialysis is a life-sustaining treatment, yet it requires adequate vascular access, often accomplished via arteriovenous fistulae (AVF).  Unfortunately, these AVF have unacceptable high failure rates.  We have found that magetofluorescent nanoparticles can be used as a readout of AVF health, and can be used to probe the the pathology associated with AVF failure.  Likewise, in patients with heart failure, organ transplantation may be necessary to prolong life.  Yet, immune reactions may result in transplant rejection, for which few non-invasive diagnostic technique are clinically available.  Novel imaging methodologies, particularly those facilitated by disease-specific nanoprobes, are currently under investigation for the clinical management of rejection, as well as other (auto)immune-mediated conditions, including myocarditis.

jason_mccarthyJason R McCarthy, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in Radiology at Harvard Medical School and an Assistant in Chemistry at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). In 2003, Dr. McCarthy received his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Connecticut under the tutelage of Dr. Christian Bruckner. Following graduate school, he joined the Center for Molecular Imaging Research (CMIR) at the MGH as an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award post-doctoral fellow, under the direction of Dr. Ralph Weissleder. In 2006, Dr. McCarthy was promoted to faculty at CMIR, subsequently joining CSB in 2009. The research being conducted by the McCarthy group at CSB is currently funded by several NIH grants and contracts, and is focused upon the synthesis and application of nanomaterials in the imaging and therapy of disease.