• Research

    What in the world is an extracellular vesicle? Find out this and more from Mayo Clinic Research

Not an extraterrestrial spaceship, but something equally fascinating—extracellular vesicles are biological nanoparticles secreted by all cells. Extracellular vesicles contain biomolecules, such as RNA, proteins, lipids and carbohydrates, which play an important role in cell communication.

Extracellular vesicles are just part of what you can learn about on the newest Mayo Clinic research websites. And as you read, we hope you'll see the way research and education are tied into our medical practice, enabling Mayo Clinic to provide something special for our patients and for the improvement of health and health care delivery everywhere.

In her research program, based on Mayo Clinic's Florida campus, Joy Wolfram, Ph.D., is advancing research on the use of nanotechnology (teeny, tiny), to make treatments more effective for breast cancer and other conditions, and to reduce side effects.

She and her team are also investigating extracellular vesicles for their potential role in tissue regeneration—specifically related to liver regeneration and transplant. This video tells you a little more about this amazing science.

Tonometry to assess carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity and central aortic pressures.

Most of us know that genetics play a role in individual health, but may not know much more than that. In his lab, Iftikhar J. Kullo, M.D., and his team, are studying the genetics of atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases—a fancy way to say "plaque buildup in your arteries," and hereditary lipid disorders—also known as high levels of "bad" cholesterol or fat (triglycerides).

The team is trying to figure out what part of heart and vascular diseases and conditions we can blame on our genes, and then how to reduce or prevent them. This work, which comes out of Rochester, Minnesota, sounds like good news we can share with our relatives.

Sex (which one you are) causes differences in inflammation caused by environmental exposures, which can lead to various chronic inflammatory diseases.

As an expert in myocarditis, dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure, DeLisa Fairweather, Ph.D., leads a research team, on the Florida campus, seeking advances in diagnostic techniques and novel therapies. You can check out her lab in this virtual tour:

Thanks for visiting. If you missed them, here's a couple recent new research content launch articles for more investigative fun.

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