Nano Research

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 863–868 | Cite as

Bioengineered magnetoferritin nanozymes for pathological identification of high-risk and ruptured atherosclerotic plaques in humans

  • Tao Wang
  • Jiuyang He
  • Demin Duan
  • Bing Jiang
  • Peixia Wang
  • Kelong Fan
  • Minmin LiangEmail author
  • Xiyun YanEmail author
Research Article


Atherosclerotic plaque rupture results in thrombus formation and vessel occlusion, and is the leading cause of death worldwide. There is a pressing need to identify plaque vulnerability for the treatment of carotid and coronary artery diseases. Nanomaterials with enzyme-like properties have attracted significant interest by providing biological, diagnostic and prognostic information about the diseases. Here we showed that bioengineered magnetoferritin nanoparticles (M-HFn NPs) functionally mimic peroxidase enzyme and can intrinsically recognize plaque-infiltrated active macrophages, which drive atherosclerotic plaque progression and rupture and are significantly associated with the plaque vulnerability. The M-HFn nanozymes catalyze the oxidation of colorimetric substrates to give a color reaction that visualizes the recognized active macrophages for one-step pathological identification of plaque vulnerability. We examined 50 carotid endarterectomy specimens from patients with symptomatic carotid disease and demonstrated that the M-HFn nanozymes could distinguish active macrophage infiltration in ruptured and high-risk plaque tissues, and M-HFn staining displayed a significant correlation with plaque vulnerability (r = 0.89, P < 0.0001).


atherosclerosis high-risk plaques ruptured plaques magnetoferritin nanoparticles nanozymes pathological diagnosis 


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This work was supported by the following grants: the National Key R&D Program of China (No. 2017YFA0205501), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 81722024 and 81571728), the Key Research of Frontier Sciences (No. QYZDY-SSW-SMC013), and Youth Innovation Promotion Association of Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. 2014078).


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tao Wang
    • 1
  • Jiuyang He
    • 2
    • 3
  • Demin Duan
    • 3
  • Bing Jiang
    • 3
  • Peixia Wang
    • 3
  • Kelong Fan
    • 3
  • Minmin Liang
    • 3
    Email author
  • Xiyun Yan
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryPeking University Third HospitalBeijingChina
  2. 2.Savaid Medical SchoolUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Protein and Peptide Pharmaceutical, Institute of BiophysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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