Research interests

Background Microparticles and exosomes are extracellular vesicles (EV) that are present in all bodily fluids. EV are part of the intercellular communication system. Changes in EV concentration and composition are associated with e.g. coagulation disorders and metastatic carcinomas. Consequently, concentration, size distribution and origin of these EV are currently explored for medical applications such as diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring of treatment.

Problem Typically, the concentration is 10^10 EV per mL and their diameter range is 30-1000 nm. Because current instruments are optimised for analysing cells, and the median diameter (~60 nm) of EV is ~100-fold smaller than cells, EV detection is a major challenge.

Research Vesicle research is a young field. The Aim of my research is to develop, impelement and understand techniques that can determine the concentration of a single vesicle type in complex samples (e.g. plasma). These techniques include flow cytometry, surface plasmon resonance imaging, electron microscopy, resistive pulse sensing and nanoparticle tracking.

My focus is on flow cytometry. The flow cytometer is capable of measuring concentration, size and multiple fluorescence signals on thousands of individual EV/s. However, (1) size determination by flow cytometry is inaccurate and imprecise, (2) the presence of impurities like protein aggregates reduces specificity of measurements, and (3) sensitivity to detect EV < 250 nm is lacking. Through smart innovations on commercial flow cytometers, we can improve these systems for researchers worldwide.

specialisation

Flow cytometry, Detection of sub micron particles, cancer

ID: 47662