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A novel fluorescein-bisphosphonate based diagnostic tool for the detection of hydroxyapatite in both cell and tissue models

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17360
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Early online date26 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2018


A rapid and efficient method for the detection of hydroxyapatite (HAP) has been developed which shows superiority to existing well-established methods. This fluorescein-bisphosphonate probe is highly selective for HAP over other calcium minerals and is capable of detecting lower levels of calcification in cellular models than either hydrochloric acid-based calcium leaching assays or the Alizarin S stain. The probe has been shown to be effective in both in vitro vascular calcification models and in vitro bone calcification models. Moreover we have demonstrated binding of this probe to vascular calcification in rat aorta and to areas of microcalcification, in human vascular tissue, beyond the resolution of computed tomography in human atherosclerotic plaques. Fluorescein-BP is therefore a highly sensitive and specific imaging probe for the detection of vascular calcification, with the potential to improve not only ex vivo assessments of HAP deposition but also the detection of vascular microcalcification in humans.

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