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What are Exosomes?
Exosomes are membrane bound extracellular vesicles (EVs) that are produced in the endosomal compartment of most eukaryotic cells. The multivesicular body (MVB) is an endosome defined by intraluminal vesicles (ILVs) that bud inward into the endosomal lumen. If the MVB fuses with the cell surface, these ILVs are released as exosomes. In multicellular organisms, exosomes and other EVs are present in tissues and can also be found in biological fluids including blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid. They are also released in vitro by cultured cells into their growth medium. Since the size of exosomes is limited by that of the parent MVB, exosomes are generally thought to be smaller than most other EVs, from about 30 to 150 nanometres in diameter: around the same size as many lipoproteins but much smaller than cells. Compared with EVs in general, it is unclear whether exosomes have unique characteristics or functions or can be separated or distinguished effectively from other EVs. EVs including exosomes carry markers of cells of origin and have specialized functions in physiological processes, from coagulation and intercellular signalling to waste management. Consequently, there is a growing interest in clinical applications of EVs as biomarkers and therapies alike, prompting establishment of an International Society for Extracellular Vesicles and a scientific journal devoted to EVs, the Journal of Extracellular Vesicles.
CORNERSTONE Exosome Process Development Pack, from BIA Separations, is a ready-to-use, yet optionally adjustable exosome purification pack, intended to help scientists develop their own purification process and transfer it to production.