Periodic Reporting for period 1 - VES4US (Extracellular vesicles from a natural source for tailor-made nanomaterials)
Reporting period: 2018-09-01 to 2019-08-31
In this first year of the project, the cultivation and subsequent screening of the selected strains in terms of bioactivity, content in high-value metabolites and capacity to release into their growth medium EVs have been performed and reported upon as deliverables, and the related results have established the foundations for the high-risk high-reward research activities planned in VES4US. Indeed, extracellular nanoparticles were successfully purified from the selected species and characterised using a range of biophysical and biochemical methods. The analyses permitted the selection of the strains best suited for subsequent isolation and purification of EV-like objects in later parts of the VES4US work programme. Further results allowed us to choose, optimise and scale-up the purification method for EVs (i.e. Tangential Flow Fractionation, TFF) to allow laboratory-scale production of the natural source-derived EVs. To overcome a potential pitfall in the application of the TFF method, the VES4US consortium also invested in the development of an innovative technology for EV purification, and within the first year of the project, the design strategy of this technology has been described. Similarly, VES4US has described the most promising approaches to be applied in the engineering of natural source-derived EVs. This functionalisation strategy can be directly applied to the EVs obtained from the selected natural source, without the need for parent cell engineering (metabolic labelling).
In parallel with the explosive growth of available studies and data on EVs derived from different types of cells, biofluids and tissues, the scientific community faces the urgent need for a standard and transparent way to report data, to refer to reproducible methodologies, or to deposit and search for common knowledge. Indeed, EV characterisation is needed as a starting point for the bioengineered exploitation of the natural source-derived EVs. In this context, VES4US has provided a list of Minimal Information required for Studies of Extracellular Vesicles (MISEV), specifically in the context of VES4US (VES4US-MISEV), for the not-yet-described natural source-derived EVs. VES4US-MISEV is based on the guidelines provided by the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (MISEV2018) list which was further adapted for natural source-derived EVs on the basis of our considerations and experiments during the first year of the VES4US project.