Exosomes are defined as small vesicles ranging from 30-100nm in size that are found in nearly all eukaryotic fluids and facilitate a range of important cellular functions. They transfer DNA, RNA, and proteins to other cells, thereby altering the function of the targeted cells.
For many years, these nano-sized vesicles were considered to be transporters of cellular waste, but recently they have been recognized for their essential role in intercellular communication and transportation.
Today, the market for stem cell exosomes is positioned for exponential growth, because exosomes can be leveraged as research tools, diagnostic tools, therapeutic messengers (cell-free therapies), and potentially agents for use within cosmeceutical products (e.g. cosmetics that claim to have medicinal properties, such as anti-aging).
Exosomes are also present in nearly all body fluids, including:
- Synovial fluid
- Amniotic fluid
- Vaginal fluid
- Breast milk
- Serum and plasma from cancer patients
- Cultured medium of cell cultures
- And more
Additionally, exosomes are characterized by the following features:
- Range from 30-100nm in size
- Found in nearly all bodily fluids
- Exported by all eukaryotic cell types
- Exosome properties reflect the donor cell
- Produced in extremely abundant amounts