Detection of plaque vulnerability with a novel hybrid intravascular NIRF-IVUS imaging system

Funded period

2020 – 2023

Granted budget

€ 756,119



Therapeutic Principle


Principal Investigator

Michael Joner (German Heart Centre Munich)

Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammation of the vessel wall. Unstable atherosclerotic plaques can rupture and pose a risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack or stroke.

Despite the progress in cardiovascular imaging techniques, there is no imaging method to distinguish stable from unstable plaques.This project aims to develop a hybrid system for use in medical routine, in which vascular ultrasound and near-infrared fluorescence are coupled. With the hybrid system, molecular parameters of the inflammation can be recorded, and at the same time, the degree of permeability of unstable plaques can be determined. This technology should make it possible to identify patients at risk for further cardiovascular events and intervene early with suitable therapy. The tasks of this translational project include the reduction of the catheter size for hybrid imaging, a preclinical proof-of-concept, investigations on the safety of the technology, and finally, the development of a prototype for clinical studies.