Most, and likely all, cells release small lipid vesicles into the extracellular environment. These extracellular vesicles (EVs) contain a variety of molecular cargo from the cells they were released from including proteins, RNAs, and microRNAs. EVs (like exosomes) can carry damaged molecules out of the cell as a means to maintain cellular homeostasis (or cellular quality control), and this can occur much faster than degradation systems in the cell can degrade damaged, misfolded, or aggregated molecules (like autophagy and the proteaosome). When EVs enter the extracellular environment they can be degraded by immune cells, can be taken up by neighboring cells (presumably to degrade the damaged cargo), or they can enter circulation. This field is in its infancy as the research into these processes is largely unexplored.
Medical Areas of Interest
- Head impact, injury, and concussion
- Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
- Cachexia and Muscle Atrophy
- Tay-Sachs Disease
- Elucidating the role of EVs in the progression and severity of neuromuscular disorders.
- Utilizing EVs from circulation and other biological fluids as biomarkers of disease,, progression of disease, and efficacty of therapeutics and treatments.
- Engineering EVs for targeted therapeutic delivery,
- “ASSAYS FOR MICRO-RNA-182 AS A BIOMARKER FOR MUSCLE ATROPHY AND THERAPEUTIC APPLICATIONS.” Filed in US Patent Office April, 10, 2014 (serial no. 14/249,470).
- “MICRO-RNAS AS BIOMARKERS FOR SUBCONCUSSIVE AND CONCUSSIVE INJURY AND THERAPEUTIC APPLICATIONS (serial no. 62/516,760)”. Filed in US Patent Office June 8, 2017. Application pending.