Our imaging approach is inspired by the innate immune response ubiquitous in many pathologies. We developed fluorescent nano-probes with a variety of surface moieties that mimic leukocyte interaction with the inner lumen of the vascular endothelium. When injected into the blood stream of live animals, these nano-probes circulate throughout the animal’s vasculature.
In the retina we visualize the nano-probes with light-based imaging. Upon excitation the nano-probes in the retinal micro-vessels emit a signal that can be detected in vivo. The probes’ interactions with the inner vessel wall, mediated by molecular interactions provide an unprecedented temporal and spatial resolution that gives precise knowledge about the presence and quantity of target molecules in the retinal micro-vessels. In a recent work, we established our molecular imaging technology in early diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy and are currently working toward its translation for human us.