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Eduard Willms, Postdoctoral Scientist at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, provides an overview of the types of extracellular vesicles, and the role of extracellular vesicles (EVs).

Willms research is focused on the role of extracellular vesicles (EVs) in cellular communication. Willms holds a BSc in Pharmacy and a DPhil in Physiology. He has intensively studied EV heterogeneity in an effort to more fully understand the specific roles of various types of EVs released by cells.

Willms explains how he got into the study of exosomes—membrane bound extracellular vesicles that are created in the endosomal compartment of nearly all eukaryotic cells. Starting with some fascinating early experiments during his education years studying pharmacy, Willms was intrigued by what he was learning, and was hooked on cellular study from then on. Willms explains cellular communication, discussing hormones and neurotransmitters, etc. Willms talks about his interest in extracellular vesicle heterogeneity, and looking at what types of vesicles are secreted by cells. What kind of vesicle is able to enter a cell and deliver its messages? Willms talks about how the systems work, and how EVs might be used to deliver therapeutics or drugs into the cells. As he states, it is important to know which kinds of vesicles could be successful in delivering these messages, and ultimately—deliver therapeutics.

Continuing, the noted research scientist expounds upon the cellular environments and discusses possible stability issues in regard to EVs. He talks about biodistribution in lab studies and the life of EVs, essentially concerned with how long they can perform these important duties. Wrapping up, Willms discusses what they have observed in various populations of vesicles, and the relative possibilities, explaining organelles and structures.

In this podcast:

  • What are extracellular vesicles?
  • How can EVs be used to deliver therapeutics into cells?
  • How do cells communicate?
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