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Analyst 2015 Mar 21;1406:1974-80. doi: 10.1039/c4an02166e.
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Aminolevulinic acid with gold nanoparticles: a novel theranostic agent for atherosclerosis.

de Oliveira Gonçalves K , da Silva MN , Sicchieri LB , de Oliveira Silva FR , de Matos RA , Courrol LC .

In this study, 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) gold nanoparticles (ALA:AuNPs) functionalized with polyethylene glycol (PEG) were synthesized and administered to rabbits to evaluate their use in clinical practice as theranostic agents for atherosclerosis. This was done by measuring the porphyrin fluorescence extracted from the rabbits'' blood and feces. An increase in blood and feces porphyrin emission after ALA:AuNP administration suggests that ALA was incorporated by gold nanoparticles, its structure was preserved, and a rapid conversion into endogenous porphyrins occurred, overloading the synthetic pathway that led to protoporphyrin IX (PPIX) accumulation. This finding indicated that this method can aid in the early diagnosis and therapy of atherosclerosis with high sensitivity.

PubMed ID: 25671550
Article link: Analyst