Time-resolved laser induced fluorescence of lipids involved in development of atherosclerotic lesion lipid-rich core

Laura Marcu, Jean Michel I Maarek, Warren S. Grundfest

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations


Background: The goal of this study is to define the spectro-temporal fluorescence emission of the main types of lipid that accumulate in atherosclerotic lesions (free cholesterol (FC), cholesterol esters: cholesteryl linoleate (CL) and cholesteryl oleate (CO)). CO is commonly found in fatty-streaks whereas CL and FC predominate in advanced lesions and their necrotic core. Methods: Fluorescence emission of the purified components (Sigma) was induced with Nitrogen laser pulses (337 nm, 1.2 ns duration) and detected (360-510 nm spectral range, 5 nm interval) with a MCP-PMT connected to a digital oscilloscope (2 Gsamples/s). Using a Laguerre expansion of kernels algorithm the intrinsic fluorescence pulses were deconvolved from the measured transient pulses. A double exponential function depicted the fluorescence decay characteristics (fast (τ 1, a 1)- and slow (τ2, a 2)-terms of time and amplitude constants). Results: 1) Spectral domain: for all three components, peak fluorescence intensity occurred at ∼380 nm; relative to flee cholesterol, cholesterol esters exhibited increased emission at longer wavelengths. 2) Time domain: time decays were distinct (CL lasted for ∼25 ns; CO, ∼11 ns; and FC,∼13 ns); decay characteristics of each cholesterol type were different (e.g., for 390 nm emission: CL, τ 1 = 0.83 ± 0.03 ns, τ 2 = 6.25 ± 0.70 ns; CO, τ 1 = 0.45 ± 0.05 ns, τ 2 = 3.45 ± 0.15 ns; FC, τ 1 = 0.53 ± 0.06 ns, τ 2 = 3.0 ± 0.05 ns). Conclusions: These results suggest that analysis of free and esterified cholesterol spectro-temporal fluorescence emission could be used for identification of lipid-rich plaques which have necrotic cores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsR.R. Alfano
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes
EventOptical Biopsy II - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 25 1998Jan 26 1998


OtherOptical Biopsy II
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Free and esterified cholesterol
  • Lipids
  • Time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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