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The University of Southampton
Microvesicle Research Group

Innovation in MV Detection



Due to the small size of microvesicles, generally considered to be 100-1000nm, analysis remains tricky. Microvesicle studies currently focus on identifying fluctuations in the number of microvesicles derived from a certain cell types. They also focus on the markers expressed on the surface of microvesicles, providing a phenotype. These factors may or may not be unique to a disease state.


As a research group our innovation focus is split into two areas.

1. Improvement of the equipment

We are particularly interested in improving the resolution of flow cytometry, so as to analyse the full microvesicle population (100-1000nm). We are not only interested in improving the size discrimination of microvesicles but the fluorescent sensitivity of the machinery. We have set about doing this as part of a multidisciplinary team made up of members from biology, medicine, engineering and physics, as well as industrial links.

2. Improvement of microvesicle analysis

Even with equipment capable of reaching the detection limits of the smallest vesicles, development of how samples are detected is required. Due to blood containing a plethora of cells, secreted molecules, and particles, an accurate way of discriminating microvesicles from other particles is required. We have worked to identify universal microvesicle markers, as well as developing methods and techniques that allow the interpretation and accuracy of results.

Team Members involved

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