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TRACER has access to a unique in vivo in-human model of the vulnerable plaque through its clinical network of vascular surgeons.

Patients with carotid artery or peripheral arterial disease surgery are accessible for evaluating fluorescent or nuclear labelled therapeutic compounds as a representative for cardiovascular disease and in particular the vulnerable or culprit plaque.

This allows the evaluation of pharmacokinetic and biodistribution imaging data of a nuclear labelled therapeutic compound prior to surgery at the site of the plaque. For example, at the carotid artery or peripheral artery. Often this takes place three days prior to the intervention when it considers larger therapeutic compounds such as antibodies.

Moreover, as TRACER has access to state-of-the-art clinical multispectral optoacoustic tomography (MSOT) systems, non-invasive imaging of the plaque can be executed prior to surgery. This can be done at multiple time-points as non-ionizing irradiation is lacking.

Following vascular surgery, the endarterectomy specimen can subsequently be evaluated ex vivo by the presence of the fluorescent labelled compound. This can be through MSOT or by previously published standardized fluorescent analytical platform (Koller et al. Nature Communications 2018). The latter provides visible certainty on the tissue distribution. In other words, it shows the on- and off-target characteristics of the fluorescent labelled compound.

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