Used for normalization purposes (Imuscle). Noise levels were determined in ROI

Used for normalization purposes (Imuscle). Noise levels were determined in ROI 3, placed in a region without signal. The standard deviation of the noise (stdevnoise) was used for normalization purposes. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057299.gtration was adjusted to keep the respiration rate between 50 and 90 respirations/min. Rectal temperature during the experiment was 35oC.Contrast AgentsGadolinium-Based T1 Contrast Agent. Micelles were prepared by lipid film hydration [26]. A mixture of the appropriate amounts of lipids (typically 120 mol of total lipid) was dissolved in chloroform/methanol 3:1 (v/v) and evaporated to dryness by rotary evaporation at 37uC. Gd-DTPA-BSA (GdDTPA-bis(stearylamide), PEG2000-DSPE (1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine-N-[methoxy(polyethyleneglycol)2000]) (all Avanti Polar lipids Inc) were used at a molar ratio of 1.5/1.35. For fluorescent detection, 0.1 mol NIR664-DSPE (SyMO-CHEM B.V., Dimethylenastron Eindhoven, The Netherlands) was added. The lipid film was subsequently hydrated in HEPES buffered saline (HBS), containing 20 mM HEPES and 135 mM NaCl (pH 7.4) and vigorously stirred at 65uC for 45 min. The size and size distribution of the micelles were determined by dynamic light scattering (DLS) at 25uC with a Malvern 4700 system (Malvern ZetaSizer Nano S, Malvern, UK). The micelles had a mean size of 16 nm and a polydispersity index below 0.1, which indicates a narrow size distribution. The relaxivity was measured at 37uC and 9.4 T. The phospholipid content of the liposome preparations was determined by phosphate analysis according to Rouser after destruction with perchloric acid [27]. Iron-oxide-based T2* contrast agent: ultra-small superparamagnetic iron oxides (USPIO, SineremH) were obtained from GuerbetMRI of Plaque Burden and Vessel Wall LY2409021 chemical information StiffnessFigure 2. Navigator signals for the reconstruction of self-gated MRI. Analysis of navigator signals for reconstruction of the self-gated MR acquisitions. A. Example of a raw navigator signal with corresponding filtered respiratory and cardiac signals. B. Under unstable physiological situations it is still possible to gather correct cardiac and respiratory traces. With the filtered reconstruction signals of both, it is possible to re-order data points in such a way a clear image of the aortic arch can still be generated. C. Representative black blood image before injection of contrast agent from the same animal shown above, with impaired cardiac and respiratory function. Retrospective gating led to a stable reconstruction of the aortic arch (arrow). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057299.gMRI of Plaque Burden and Vessel Wall StiffnessFigure 3. Atherosclerotic plaque detection in a cross-section of the aortic arch, including the effect of Gd-loaded micelles. A. Ten movie frames of a cross section of the aortic arch are generated. The black blood images used for positive contrast agent detection in the aortic arch are typically as those in image 6? (underlined). Circles indicate the region of the aortic arch cross section. White blood images 1? (dashed line), were used for the analysis of negative contrast agents B. A cross section of the aortic arch is shown before injection of micelles. Presumptive plaque regions are difficult to discriminate (arrow). C. Cross section of the aortic arch 12 hours after injection of micelles shows contrast enhancement on the basis of the aortic arch (arrow) D. Contrast to Noise Ratio (D1) and delta CNR (D2) of atherosclerotic plaques on the in.Used for normalization purposes (Imuscle). Noise levels were determined in ROI 3, placed in a region without signal. The standard deviation of the noise (stdevnoise) was used for normalization purposes. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057299.gtration was adjusted to keep the respiration rate between 50 and 90 respirations/min. Rectal temperature during the experiment was 35oC.Contrast AgentsGadolinium-Based T1 Contrast Agent. Micelles were prepared by lipid film hydration [26]. A mixture of the appropriate amounts of lipids (typically 120 mol of total lipid) was dissolved in chloroform/methanol 3:1 (v/v) and evaporated to dryness by rotary evaporation at 37uC. Gd-DTPA-BSA (GdDTPA-bis(stearylamide), PEG2000-DSPE (1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine-N-[methoxy(polyethyleneglycol)2000]) (all Avanti Polar lipids Inc) were used at a molar ratio of 1.5/1.35. For fluorescent detection, 0.1 mol NIR664-DSPE (SyMO-CHEM B.V., Eindhoven, The Netherlands) was added. The lipid film was subsequently hydrated in HEPES buffered saline (HBS), containing 20 mM HEPES and 135 mM NaCl (pH 7.4) and vigorously stirred at 65uC for 45 min. The size and size distribution of the micelles were determined by dynamic light scattering (DLS) at 25uC with a Malvern 4700 system (Malvern ZetaSizer Nano S, Malvern, UK). The micelles had a mean size of 16 nm and a polydispersity index below 0.1, which indicates a narrow size distribution. The relaxivity was measured at 37uC and 9.4 T. The phospholipid content of the liposome preparations was determined by phosphate analysis according to Rouser after destruction with perchloric acid [27]. Iron-oxide-based T2* contrast agent: ultra-small superparamagnetic iron oxides (USPIO, SineremH) were obtained from GuerbetMRI of Plaque Burden and Vessel Wall StiffnessFigure 2. Navigator signals for the reconstruction of self-gated MRI. Analysis of navigator signals for reconstruction of the self-gated MR acquisitions. A. Example of a raw navigator signal with corresponding filtered respiratory and cardiac signals. B. Under unstable physiological situations it is still possible to gather correct cardiac and respiratory traces. With the filtered reconstruction signals of both, it is possible to re-order data points in such a way a clear image of the aortic arch can still be generated. C. Representative black blood image before injection of contrast agent from the same animal shown above, with impaired cardiac and respiratory function. Retrospective gating led to a stable reconstruction of the aortic arch (arrow). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057299.gMRI of Plaque Burden and Vessel Wall StiffnessFigure 3. Atherosclerotic plaque detection in a cross-section of the aortic arch, including the effect of Gd-loaded micelles. A. Ten movie frames of a cross section of the aortic arch are generated. The black blood images used for positive contrast agent detection in the aortic arch are typically as those in image 6? (underlined). Circles indicate the region of the aortic arch cross section. White blood images 1? (dashed line), were used for the analysis of negative contrast agents B. A cross section of the aortic arch is shown before injection of micelles. Presumptive plaque regions are difficult to discriminate (arrow). C. Cross section of the aortic arch 12 hours after injection of micelles shows contrast enhancement on the basis of the aortic arch (arrow) D. Contrast to Noise Ratio (D1) and delta CNR (D2) of atherosclerotic plaques on the in.

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