Extracellular Vesicles (shortened as EV's) are sub-micron sized particles which have an enclosing membrane. They are one mechanism for inter-cellular communication. They are composed of lipids and proteins, and there may be nucleic acid inside (the cargo)[@libregts2018Flow cytometric analysis of extracellular vesicle subsets in plasma: impact of swarm by particles of non-interest].
Extracellular vesicles were initially called nanovesicles, and they belong to one of three different categories based on their biogenesis:[@pedrioli2021Extracellular Vesicles as Promising Carriers in Drug Delivery: Considerations from a Cell Biologist’s Perspective, @elsharkasy2020Extracellular vesicles as drug delivery systems: Why and how?]
- Apoptotic Bodies (ApoBDs)
- Microvesicles (MV)
- Exosomes (EXO)
There is a possibility of using exosomes as drug delivery systems since they are biocompatible, and already have a similar natural role in multicellular organisms[@pedrioli2021Extracellular Vesicles as Promising Carriers in Drug Delivery: Considerations from a Cell Biologist’s Perspective, @elsharkasy2020Extracellular vesicles as drug delivery systems: Why and how?].
Another alternative is using EVs as biomarkers, since it is believed that the regulation of the release and composition of these particles can be correlated to certain diseases.
The biggest challenge is that most exosomes and microvesicles are <500nm in diameter, and therefore hard to detect by standard means. Moreover, detecting rare particles (perhaps 1% of the particles change between healthy and non healthy humans). This is why detecting Low abundance EVs may be crucial in the future.
Techniques such as Simoa, SP-IRIS, or Multiplex bead-based flow cytometry can be useful tools to detect rare events. Perhaps the EVQuant protocol is also relevant in these contexts.
Do other organisms use EV's for intracellular communication? I assume most animals do, what about plants?
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