Webinar March 2024 – Prof. Leroux

On Wednesday, March 13, 2024, an online seminar on "Exogenous loading of extracellular vesicles with nucleic acids" was held at 3.30 p.m. (CET).

The speaker was Prof. Dr. Jean-Christophe Leroux from the ETH Zurich, Switzerland.


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are natural nanostructures that carry a variety of molecules like proteins and nucleic acids (NAs). They play a key role in cell-to-cell communication, making them ideal systems for use in gene therapy. However, the process of inserting exogenous NAs into EVs without compromising their structure and functionality remains challenging.

In this study, we will present a loading approach that is based on the fusion of lipid-based nanovectors with EVs. The nanovactor consists of a non-layered lyotropic liquid crystal, that is first complexed to the NA and then incubated with EVs under mild conditions and to form the loaded hybrid vesicles. The latter were characterized using different methods such as DLS, SAXS and cryo-TEM.

Our findings show that the fusion process does not impact the functionality of certain EV surface proteins and that HEVs can transfer genetic material to cells more effectively than the lipid nanovector.


(This work is related to the PRC project by Prof. Leroux.)