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    Top Exosomes Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


    What are exosomes?

    All cells release extracellular vesicles (EVs) as part of their normal physiology. We could divide the types of EVs into two wide groups: ectosomes and exosomes.

    On one hand, ectosomes are EVsvesicles whose diameter range is between 50nm and 1mm, this category includes microvesicles, microparticles, and large vesicles.

    On the other hand, exosomes are EVs whose size is between approximately 40 to 150 nm. The origin of these vesicles also differs, while ectosomes are pinched off the surface of the plasma membrane, exosomes have an endosomal origin.

    Exosomes can contain many components of their original cell, which can be any cell of the human body, including RNA, lipids, metabolites, and cytosolic and cell-surface proteins, which associates them with the immune response, viral pathogenicity, pregnancy, cardiovascular diseases, central nervous system-related diseases and, principally, cancer diagnosis and progression.

    In this sense, are exosomes stem cells? They are not stem cells, but as exosomes can be released from any type of cell the can be also secreted and have the information of a stem cell.

    Can exosomes be used in cosmetics?

    Yes, exosomes can definitely be used in cosmetics. Since exosomes are circulating in body fluids, they can not only transfer information to local cells but also to remote cells.

    For this reason, exosomes are considered potential active principles for various treatments. Recently, studies have also demonstrated the efficacy of exosomes in skin conditions such as aging, atopic dermatitis (AD), and wounds. In addition, exosomes are being studied for use as ingredients in products commercialized for skin treatments.

    A commonly asked question in this sense is if exosomes are dangerous or if they are safe… and the answer to this question is easy, exosomes are safe because they are part of our body, they are released from our own cells.

    How do exosomes work in cosmetics?

    Exosomes have been studied in various skin conditions. Wound healing is divided into five stages: inflammation, epithelialization, wound contraction, collagen deposition, and remodeling. Intercellular communication is essential in wound healing, as it requires a coordinated effort of keratinocytes, fibroblasts, macrophages, and inflammatory cells.

    In this sense, exosomes from macrophages, a white blood cells located in a tissue derived from monocytes, promote wound healing by stimulating cell proliferation and angiogenesis.

    If you are interested in discovering everything about exosomes and their application in cosmetics have a look at this article or contact us for further information.

    Does exosome therapy work?

    Exosome therapy is a flexible and highly targeted treatment for conditions such as osteoarthritis, chronic pain, and musculoskeletal injuries.

    Genetic disorders, chronic and degenerative diseases, and the natural aging process can suppress the communication ability of human cells. In this sense, exosome therapy improves the communication between cells to boost healing.

    In this sense, do exosomes really work in therapy? Definitely, exosomes work for many different types of therapies.

    Are exosomes better than stem cells?

    On the one hand, smell cells are a type of cell that we can find in our system, they are very special because they can be originated from any type of cell, and their functions are to build blocks and also to fix mechanisms in our system.

    On the other hand, Exosomes, which we have already explained are extracellular vesicles, can be released from these stem cells. These exosomes can contain genetic information and proteins and transport this information from cell to cell, which makes them very interesting for their use in therapies and diagnosis.

    In this sense, is it better to use exosomes or stem cells in therapy? Are exosomes better than stem cells? Here we are going to underline the main differences between them:

    Stem cell therapy:

    Stem cell therapy involves directing stem cells to become specific cells in the body. Stem cells are found in many different places, such as embryos, the umbilical cord, bone marrow, and adult fat. Stem cells are originated and divide for a long time, so the treatment causes the body to begin the healing process, and then continue to create healthier cells. 

    Exosome therapy: 

    In contrast to stem cell therapy, exosome therapy does not imply the need for donor cells in the body. They are instead extracted from donated human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and sterilized.

    Furthermore, exosome therapy can be administered intravenously or by direct injection into the treatment site. Exosomes are powerful elements that can restore cells throughout the body. They enhance cell-to-cell communication, which is essential for overall cellular health

    To sum up, while stem cell therapy can provide rejuvenating benefits, results can be limited by external factors and your overall cellular health, and exosome therapy promotes healing by providing the additional information from younger cells that your body needs.

    Where are exosomes found?

    Exosomes are small (~40-150 nm) extracellular vesicles (EVs) released from all cell types and found in body fluids and cell culture supernatants.

    But where do exosomes come from then? As we have previously addressed, exosomes are generated by a fusion of a specialized endosome, the multivesicular body (MVB), with the plasma membrane, and they can be found in any part of the human body because they are released from any cell of the system.

    Why are exosomes important?

    Exosomes are important because they have been proposed to provide means for the intercellular exchange of macromolecules, allowing the transfer of proteins, lipids, mRNA, and miRNA, contributing to intercellular communication in relevant biological processes, including apoptosis, antigen presentation, angiogenesis, inflammation, and coagulation.

    Furthermore, exosomes are thought to provide a means of intercellular communication and of transmission of macromolecules between cells. In the past decades, exosomes have been attributed roles in the spread of elements from the original cell and as contributing factors in the development of several diseases.

    Exosomes have been identified in a wide number of human body fluids which includes urine, blood, saliva, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, semen, breast milk, amniotic fluid, aqueous humor (from cadavers) lymph, and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid.  That is one of the reasons why the functions of EVs have been deeply studied over the past years.

    On the other hand, exosomes have been proposed to be useful vectors for drugs, given that they are formed of cell membranes instead of synthetic polymers, and therefore they are better tolerated by the host.

    Discover this and many other exosome applications by visiting our blog and subscribing to our newsletter.

    Can exosomes cause cancer?

    Exosomes play an important role in cancer development through intercellular communication, promotion of cell metastasis and development of drug resistance. Exosomes are frequently secreted by cancers and are widely distributed in many body fluids. Therefore, they can be detected in blood, saliva, and urine.

    This is the reason why exosomal biomarkers have demonstrated great performance in cancer diagnosis and prognosis.

    However, the methods of isolating exosomes vary in different studies and are a major source of variability in liquid biopsy results.

    The question then is… can exosomes cure cancer? Can exosomes make you sick? No, exosomes are used in order to easily diagnose cancer in the early stages of cancer, but it has not been demonstrated that exosomes are able to cure cancer, instead, they are the key for cancer early diagnosis and prognosis, thanks to minimally invasive liquid biopsies.

    Find out everything about exosome isolation methods and characterization methods and discover how exosomes are used for this many other applications by subscribing to our newsletter or contacting us for further information.