Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are nanosized structures which are secreted from almost every cell type in the human body. The cargo of those vesicles consists of proteins, DNA, RNA and especially miRNA. Lately, those vesicles came into focus due to their ability to mediate cardio protection. Recent studies revealed that EVs can alter the outcome of different cardiovascular diseases in a positive way. It was shown that EVs are able to reduce the infarct size after myocardial infarction and can also diminish the damage resulting from ischemia reperfusion injury.
Additionally, EVs can also be considered as specific markers for different diseases. Especially in cancer patients specific EVs are up-regulated compared to healthy patients. New technologies enable researchers and physicians to detect EVs in the blood stream and to use them as specific and especially early marker for different types of cancer.
Our working group is focused on investigating EVs in terms of cardiac preconditioning as well as identifying specific EV markers in patients who underwent cardiac surgery.