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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Research project: Enhancing Integrin-mediated Nervous System Regeneration

Currently Active: 
Project type: 

Novel strategies to enhance neurite outgrowth and axon regeneration are currently needed.  Using microvesicles such as exosomes provides an alternative approach to re-express absent growth-promoting proteins in damaged neurons.


The use of gene therapy to replace missing proteins within affected neurons has resulted in limited amounts of regeneration, with recent data showing that localisation and transport of re-expressed proteins can be excluded from damaged axons remaining instead within the somatodendritic compartment.  Utilising small-membrane-bound microvesicles known as exosomes presents a novel alternative method for delivering necessary proteins to injured neurons within the CNS.

Project Aims:

This studentship will examine the potential for using loaded exosomes to enhance outgrowth and regeneration. Exosomes are secreted from most cells and are found in most biological fluids.  Exosomes have also been shown to transfer cargo to other cells, providing a means of intracellular communication and transport.  

Principle Investigator (PI): Dr Melissa Andrews
Secondary Supervisor: Dr David Tumbarello
Funding: The Gerald Kerkut Trust and Biological Sciences, University of Southampton.
Funding Duration: October 2019 - September 2022


Related research groups

Biomedical Sciences
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