Production and Development of Novel Natural Nano and Micro Biomaterials and Diagnostic Technologies for Catalytic, and Bio- and Circular Economics (BioEVEngine)
The field of extracellular vesicle (EV) biomaterial research has expanded tremendously in recent years with great interest in medical applications. EVs are tiny membrane-enclosed droplets that carry cellular material. We will focus on production of new biomaterials using EVs obtained from plant cells and milk. We hypothesize that EVs from these natural sources can be exploited as widely applicable medical therapeutics. Current EV isolation and purification are tedious small-scale processes, necessitating development of new high-throughput protocols for larger scale production. We will use cells from pine, spruce, wild Finnish berries, and milk for EV extraction with nanocellulose-based microfluidic devices that we will design in this project. The research will be completed at the VTT and University of Oulu with collaboration between scientists from Ecology and Genetics, Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, and Technology Research Units. Further information on current plant biotechnology research can be found on the Oulu University PlantBIO site
The team is composed of four Professor PIs, Caglar Elbuken, Hely Häggman, Henrikki Liimatainen and Seppo Vainio integrating expertise’s in biomedicine, genetics, botany, cellulose materials and microfluidics aiming to advance EV, exosome diagnostics/ therapeutics. The team will target the secreted extracellular nano- and micro vesicles (EVs, exosomes) in nature and medicine to advance their diagnostics and functional studies.