The laboratory of Farouc Jaffer, MD, PhD, in the Cardiovascular Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital is developing bench-to-bedside approaches to image and understand in vivo inflammation and thrombogenesis in vascular disease, including atherosclerosis, venous thrombosis, and arteriovenous fistula.
Through close collaborations with molecular imaging chemistry experts, we have developed an array of molecular imaging agents to report on macrophages, fibrin, cathepsin K, VCAM-1, thrombin, and activated factor XIII. Using intravital microscopy, FMT, MRI or PET-CT, we have imaged and quantified these molecular targets in murine models of vascular disease, which have led to new insights into how atheroma, thrombi, and AVF evolve and resolve.
Our major translational efforts focus on developing intravascular near-infrared fluorescence molecular imaging catheter technology to image inflammation in human coronary arteries and coronary stents, using large animal models. In conjunction with world-leading engineering groups, we have developed intravascular NIRF-OCT and NIRF-IVUS catheters and systems. The ability to image inflammation at high-resolution could provide new approaches to identify high-risk plaques and high-risk stents.
Our clinical research efforts focus on improving percutaneous coronary intervention success for chronic total occlusions, radial artery catheterization, and improving the treatment of microvascular coronary disease and microvascular angina.