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The University of Southampton
Microvesicle Research Group

Introduction to our research 

 

Our research is focused on cell-derived microvesicles. These are 100-1000nm lipid spheres shed from the plasma membrane of cells. We are particularly interested in the proteins expressed on the surface of microvesicles as they change depending on the cell they were released from and the state of the cell they were released from.

Microvesicles hold a great deal of potential as biomarkers as they express surface proteins that vary depending on their release environment, as well as containing internal cargo which includes proteins and genetic material.

Due to being very small, microvesicles are able to diffuse more freely than larger cells. It does however make their analysis extremely difficult with many particles being beyond the wavelength of light, making more traditional observational techniques such as microscopy/confocal microscopy unsuitable. We therefore use flow cytometry for a large proportion of our work and are making significant advancements to improve microvesicles analysis in the field, as well as studying the association of microvesicles in the pathology of a number of diseases.

Our research group is predominantly based at the Institute of Developmental science (IDS) at University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust Fund and is made up of an interdisciplinary team.

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