Research interests

Background. Clinical decisions for diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy are often based on information from biochemical and cellular analysis of blood and urine. It is becoming increasingly clear that these body fluids also contain numerous small (<0.001 mm) extracellular vesicles, often referred to as exosomes or microvesicles. Vesicles originate from a variety of cells and functions of vesicles include intercellular communication, coagulation, and inflammation. The vesicle profile (size, concentration, biochemical composition, and cellular origin) and function are altered in e.g. cancer and cardiovascular disease. Accordingly, the ability to measure this vesicle profile strongly adds to understanding the development of major diseases and provides a way for early detection of these diseases.

Problem. Although the clinical relevance of vesicles is increasingly recognized, the detection of exosomes, microparticles, and other extracellular vesicles is very challenging. Due to their small size and low refractive index vesicles are below the detection range of modern techniques. Consequently, worldwide no device is available that can determine the vesicle profile directly in body fluids to obtain clinical information.

Goals. The goals of my research is to standardize vesicle measurements and to develop a device that is suitable for clinical use and capable of accurately measuring the size, morphology (shape and ultrastructure), biochemical composition (proteins, lipids, RNA, DNA), and cellular origin of single vesicles at a rate of thousands per second.

For more information and a complete list of peer-reviewed articles to which I contributed, please visit


Detection of cell-derived extracellular vesicles (e.g. exosomes, microvesicles) as biomarkers for disease

ID: 94722