Key points from article :
Atherosclerotic plaque rupture forms the basis for strokes and heart attacks.
There is no technology available to definitively identify plaques that are at risk of rupture.
Sign of a plaque at risk of rupture is, inflammation is exacerbated and attracts a variety of white blood cells.
Approach involves administering carbon nanotubes that such cells tend to take up from their environment.
Bryan Smith, researcher involved in the study says "We’re specifically looking at the cells – called macrophages and monocytes..."
Normal blood vessel versus plaque are compared, more macrophages and monocytes one with the plaque.
Researchers probe a blood vessel of interest using light to see plaques have levels of the carbon nanotubes.
Tubes respond to light by emitting sound that can be detected using an ultrasound transducer.
They shine light into an artery to deliver certain types of particles that can absorb that light.
Research by Michigan State University published in Advanced Functional Materials.