BioNavis part of Finnish Exosomes Platform

6, February, 2020

A new research ecosystem has been set up in Finland in which the country’s leading research organisations, together with BioNavis, the Finnish Red Cross Blood Service, Orion Pharma and nanotechnology SMEs, are joining forces to develop new types of nanobiotechnological solutions for the treatment and early diagnostics of severe progressive diseases.

Extracellular vesicles (EV) are nano-sized particles, which, according to current understanding, are produced by all cells. Extracellular vesicles allow cells to carry molecules when cells communicate with each other. The physiological and pathologic role of extracellular vesicles is currently undergoing very active research.

The main objective of the research project (EVE – EV Ecosystem for Theranostic Platforms) funded by Business Finland and a total of 13 consortium partners is to establish whether extracellular vesicles can be utilised in the treatment and diagnostics of central nervous system degenerative diseases and cancer.

Vesicles from donated blood

The Blood Service processes approximately 200,000 donated whole blood units every year into red blood cell and platelet products as well as into plasma, which is used to produce medicinal products for the treatment of immune and coagulation factor deficiencies.

 “If extracellular vesicles served as vehicles of drug delivery, we would be able to make even more versatile use of donated blood in the treatment of patients,” Laitinen says.

One of the key objectives of the three-year project is to develop the necessary technical capacity and production and quality control methods required by research in order to make it possible to utilise extracellular vesicles derived from blood cells.

Finnish nanotechnology to drive the development of biomedicine

Finnish industry, such as BioNavis, has been investing in research and development in the area of nanotechnology since the 1990s. One of the main objectives of the consortium is to develop existing nanotechnologies into technologies that can be used in the research of biological materials.

The project also aims to serve as a launch pad for domestic SMEs and start-ups in the sector to access the global nanobiomedicine market.

A total of 13 consortium partners

The preparation of the project was preceded by the Co-Creation project funded by Business Finland, which was led by Professor Marjo Yliperttula, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki.

The consortium comprises 13 partners with active international research cooperation in the area of nanotechnology. In addition to Bionavis, the involved partners include Blood Service and Orion PharmaFinnAdvanceKaivogenTimegate InstrumentsUPM Biomedicals, the Biobank of Eastern Finland and Afekta. The research groups of the following academics provide the project with solid expertise in research: Professor Marjo YliperttulaTapani Viitala and Pia Siljander, University of Helsinki; Professor Tarja MalmRiikka Martikainen and Arto Mannermaa, University of Eastern Finland; Elina Vuorimaa-Laukkanen, Tampere University; and Leena Hakalahti, VTT Oulu.


See application notes and publications related to exosome characterization by MP-SPR:

AN #156  Exosome uptake by living cells measured using MP-SPR (based on article by Suutari et al., Small, 2016)

Targeting Tumor-Associated Exosomes with Integrin-Binding Peptides, Advanced Biosystems, 2017

Size and concentration of extracellular vesicle sub-populations by MP-SPR, Analytical Chemistry, 2016