Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are membrane-enclosed vesicles that can carry lipids, proteins and RNAs, from one cell to another, for short or long distances. Depending their size and origin, EVs can be characterised as exosomes (50–150nm in diameter), microvesicles (100nm–1μm in diameter) or large oncosomes (>1μm in diameter). Like Trojan horses EVs can cross the cell barrier and reprogram cellular functions.
Gemini Biosciences offers a comprehensive and modular extracellular vesicles analysis service that involves production, purification and biochemical and biophysical analyses of the vesicles. Analysis techniques used include Nanoparticles Tracking Analysis (NTA) with the Nanosight NS300, fluorescence & electron microscopy, Western blotting, mass spectrometry (proteomics) and RNAseq.
EVs are involved in the intercellular communication by reciprocally shuttling signals and other molecules between same and/or different cell types. During the last few years, there has been intense research into their involvement in various biological processes including cell metabolism, proliferation, invasion, migration, immune responses and others as well as their contribution in tumour development and other diseases.
Considering their significance and multifaceted roles, EVs can be used as diagnostic and ultimately as therapeutic/clinical tools (i.e as biomarkers for the diagnosis and disease follow-up). Their clinical applications potential ranges from vaccination, improvement of pregnancy outcome and treatment of autoimmune diseases, cancer, and tissue injuries.
More insight into the structure and functions of EVs can be obtained by using quantitative proteomics and SILAC to determine novel components in EVs.