Imaging platforms to dissect the in vivo communication, biodistribution and controlled release of extracellular vesicles

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) work as communication vehicles, allowing the exchange of bioactive molecules (microRNAs, mRNAs, proteins, etc) between neighbouring and distant cells in the organism. EVs are thus important players in several physiological and pathological processes. Thus, it is critical to understand their role in cellular/organ communication to fully evaluate their biological, diagnosis and therapeutic potential. In addition, recent studies have explored the controlled release of EVs for regenerative medicine applications and thus the evaluation of their release profile is important to correlate with biological activity. Researchers at the University of Coimbra give a brief introduction about EV imaging platforms in terms of their sensitivity, penetration depth, cost, and operational simplicity, followed by a discussion of different EV labelling processes with their advantages and limitations. Next, they cover the relevance of these imaging platforms to dissect the tropism and biological role of endogenous EVs. The researchers also cover the relevance of imaging platforms to monitor the accumulation of exogenous EVs and their potential cellular targets. Finally, they highlight the importance of imaging platforms to investigate the release profile of EVs from different controlled systems.

Banerjee A, Lino M, Jesus C, Ribeiro Q, Abrunhosa A, Ferreira L. (2023) Imaging platforms to dissect the in vivo communication, biodistribution and controlled release of extracellular vesicles. J Control Release 360:549-563. [abstract]

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