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Cell-to-cell communication by extracellular vesicles: from biogenesis and functions to clinical use as novel biomarkers and therapeutic tools

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Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are nano-sized membrane particles secreted by virtually all cells of the body. EVs are a heterogeneous population of vesicles (30 nm – 1 µm)
with different origins, properties and functions. In recent years they have been identified to actively promote inter-cellular ...

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are nano-sized membrane particles secreted by virtually all cells of the body. EVs are a heterogeneous population of vesicles (30 nm – 1 µm)
with different origins, properties and functions. In recent years they have been identified to actively promote inter-cellular communication both in a healthy and diseased state, with a remarkable level of conservation seen from bacteria to mammals. Consequently, EVs play a key role in a wide range of biological processes, for example during the immune response, in cancer metastases, neurodegenerative and infectious diseases as well as in pre-eclampsia. This Research Topic focuses on three main aspects: (i) the biogenesis of EVs,
together with the development of the technology for their characterization; (ii) the functional role of EVs in both physiological and pathological circumstances; and (iii)
their promising therapeutic potential. As such, we wish to first highlight recent advances in nanotechnologies providing mechanistic insights into EV biogenesis and novel approaches to enable the purification of GMP-quality EVs from the biological fluids and cell cultures. Secondly, the function of EVs in disease progression/modulation and the role of the specific EV cargo (e.g. miRNAs, proteins and lipids), as well as their use as biomarkers. We welcome review papers on any of the suggested topics.


Keywords: Extracellular vesicles, microvesicles, exosomes, cell-to-cell communication, stem cells, immune response, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, drug delivery, extracellular miRNAs, biogenesis, purification and isolation, nanotechnology, biomarkers


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