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Friend and foe, science and art - publication on extracellular vesicles on the cover of Theranostics

Promising prospects on the application of extracellular vesicles for treating sepsis patients, but not without appropriate standardization of existing and development of new diagnostic methods – this is the core message of a paper written by an interdisciplinary team consisting of Pierre Raeven and LBI scientists Johannes Zipperle and Susanne Drechsler. It was recently published in the international Journal Theranostics.

Sepsis, a life-threatening condition due to a misdirected immune reaction, affects 270 in 100 000 persons per year. One out of four sepsis patients dies despite appropriate medical treatment. The work of Pierre Raeven and his colleagues focuses on discovering reliable biomarkers – indicators that can aid in predicting occurance and progression of the disease. Extracellular vesicles (EV) are tiny bubbles (30 nanometer to several micrometer in size) that are released by a cell following its activation in course of an infection. They carry on their surface molecules that are characteristic for their cellular origin and thus could be used as biomarker.

With dedicated support from Marcin Osuchowski, head of the intensive care research department at the LBI Trauma, the authors perform their extensive review of current studies highlighting the role of EV in sepsis patients, with special focus on the quality and clinical applicability of these studies.

Moreover they discuss the diagnostic and therapeutic potential of EV as well as their role in cell communication.