Traversing proton beam-irradiated, mid/high-Z nanoparticles produce site-specific enhancement of X-ray photon-electron emission via the Coulomb nanoradiator (CNR) effect, resulting in a nano- to micro-scale therapeutic effect at the nanoparticle-uptake target site. Here, we demonstrate the uptake of iron oxide nanoparticles (IONs) and nanoradiator-mediated, site-specific thrombolysis without damaging the vascular endothelium in an arterial thrombosis mouse model. The enhancement of low-energy electron (LEE) emission and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production from traversing proton beam-irradiated IONs was examined. Flow recovery was only observed in CNR-treated mice, and greater than 50% removal of the thrombus was achieved. A 2.5-fold greater reduction in the thrombus-enabled flow recovery was observed in the CNR group compared with that observed in the untreated ION-only and proton-only control groups (p < 0.01). Enhancement of the X-ray photon-electron emission was evident from both the pronounced Shirley background in the electron yield and the 1.2- to 2.5-fold enhanced production of ROS by the proton-irradiated IONs, which suggests chemical degradation of the thrombus without potent emboli.
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