Indocyanine green liposomes for diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring of cerebral malaria

Emma Portnoy, Natalia Vakruk, Ameer Bishara, Miriam Shmuel, Shlomo Magdassi, Jacob Golenser, Sara Eyal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cerebral malaria (CM) is a major cause of death of Plasmodium falciparum infection. Misdiagnosis of CM often leads to treatment delay and mortality. Conventional brain imaging technologies are rarely applicable in endemic areas. Here we address the unmet need for a simple, non-invasive imaging methodology for early diagnosis of CM. This study presents the diagnostic and therapeutic monitoring using liposomes containing the FDA-approved fluorescent dye indocyanine green (ICG) in a CM murine model. Increased emission intensity of liposomal ICG was demonstrated in comparison with free ICG. The Liposomal ICG's emission was greater in the brains of the infected mice compared to naïve mice and drug treated mice (where CM was prevented). Histological analyses suggest that the accumulation of liposomal ICG in the cerebral vasculature is due to extensive uptake mediated by activated phagocytes. Overall, liposomal ICG offers a valuable diagnostic tool and a biomarker for effectiveness of CM treatment, as well as other diseases that involve inflammation and blood vessel occlusion.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)167-176
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016


  • Cerebral malaria
  • Diagnosis
  • Imaging
  • Indocyanine green
  • Liposomes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)


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