Follow Ghent University's guideline to analyze extracellular vesicles

March 2, 2017 News BioVox

Researchers from Ghent University published a knowledge bank in Nature Methods to increase reproducibility of research on extracellular vesicles. Extracellular vesicles (EV) are tiny cell fragments that cells in our body use to communicate with each other and are present in bodily fluids such as blood and urine. The recent unfolding of EV as potential tools to help prevent, diagnose and even treat different diseases, such as cancer, resulted in a multitude of protocols, consider it as cookbook recipes, to isolate and analyze EV. Here, things go wrong. Experimental parameters vary between research groups and unless adequately reported, the recipes lack the knowledge to interpret and reproduce experiments.

An international consortium led by the research team of An Hendrix from Ghent University created a knowledgebank to coach researchers in the correct reporting of these recipes. The results are published in the leading journal Nature Methods.

The knowledgebank, named EV-TRACK, captures technical and biological features of EV and EV-related isolation and characterization recipes ( and informs researchers about (in)complete reporting of these recipes. As such, EV-TRACK aims to accelerate breakthroughs in EV research by increasing its reproducibility at the benefit of scientists and the society.

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