Recent Advances in the Development of Theranostic Nanoparticles for Cardiovascular Diseases

Nanotheranostics. 2021 Jul 21;5(4):499-514. doi: 10.7150/ntno.62730. eCollection 2021.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. CVD includes a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels such as myocardial infarction, ischemic heart, ischemic injury, injured arteries, thrombosis and atherosclerosis. Amongst these, atherosclerosis is the dominant cause of CVD and is an inflammatory disease of the blood vessel wall. Diagnosis and treatment of CVD remain the main challenge due to the complexity of their pathophysiology. To overcome the limitations of current treatment and diagnostic techniques, theranostic nanomaterials have emerged. The term "theranostic nanomaterials" refers to a multifunctional agent with both therapeutic and diagnostic abilities. Theranostic nanoparticles can provide imaging contrast for a diversity of techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT). In addition, they can treat CVD using photothermal ablation and/or medication by the drugs in nanoparticles. This review discusses the latest advances in theranostic nanomaterials for the diagnosis and treatment of CVDs according to the order of disease development. MRI, CT, near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR), and fluorescence are the most widely used strategies on theranostics for CVDs detection. Different treatment methods for CVDs based on theranostic nanoparticles have also been discussed. Moreover, current problems of theranostic nanoparticles for CVDs detection and treatment and future research directions are proposed.

Keywords: atherosclerosis; cardiovascular diseases; ischemic heart; myocardial infarction; nanomaterials; theranostics; thrombosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't