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Development of BIOnanotechnologies based on Extracellular Vesicles for early diagnosis, prognosis and therapy of atherosclerotic disease (BIOVEA)


Various biomarkers have been proposed for the diagnosis and prognosis of acute coronary syndrome, however none for stable coronary disease. Identification of biomarkers that augment established clinical indicators, may allow earlier diagnosis of coronary disease, as well as improved recognition of the risk of complications and cardiovascular death. Additionally, this would pave the way for biomarkers, such as extracellular vesicles, to be employed as precise therapeutic agents in these diseases.


This project aims to develop and implement new technologies to identify extracellular vesicles that can be used for early diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of stable coronary disease. Such promising approaches are in their infancy in many areas of clinical medicine, therefore key contributions to existing knowledge are of strategic priority in medicine.

The specific aims are:

  • identification and analysis of circulating extracellular vesicles, as potential biomarkers in experimentally induced atherosclerotic coronary disease;

  • validation of extracellular vesicles as biomarkers for the early diagnosis and prognosis of stable coronary disease in human patients;

  • in vitro establishment of a cell-line that can efficiently generate vesicles to be used as therapeutic agents in atherosclerotic coronary disease;

  • to scrutinize the therapeutic potential of extracellular vesicles in experimental models for atherosclerotic disease and cardiac hypertrophy.

The expected outcome of the project is the creation of a competitive, multidisciplinary consortium focusing on the application of leading edge technologies in the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is expected that the study will deliver extracellular vesicle-based nanotechnologies to be employed in a clinical setting.


Project 1 - Identification of circulating extracellular vesicles as biomarkers for experimental atherosclerotic coronary disease (IVB)

Project 2 - Validation of circulating extracellular vesicles as biomarkers for early diagnosis and prognosis of stable coronary heart disease (UMFCD)


Project 3 - Establishing an optimal cellular source for the in vitro generation of extracellular vesicles with potential therapeutic in atherosclerotic coronary disease (OncoGen)


Project 4 - Exploration of the therapeutic potential of extracellular vesicles in experimental models of cardiac hypertrophy and coronary atherosclerosis, 'in vitro' and 'in vivo' (IBPCNS)


Fig. 1.  Micrograph showing vesicle budding and EVs cargo in capillary endothelium from a hypertensive patient.


Coordinator: Institute of Cellular Biology and Pathology “Nicolae Simionescu” (IBPCNS) - Project Manager: Dr. CSI Adriana Georgescu
Partners: Victor Babeş National Institute of Pathology (IVB) - Dr. Mihaela Gherghiceanu; Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy Bucharest (UMFCD) - Prof. Dr. Dragoș Vinereanu; Emergency Clinical Hospital "Pius Brînzeu" Timişoara & OncoGen Research Center (OncoGen) - Prof. Dr. Virgil Păunescu

Project funded by the Ministry of Research and Innovation, PCCDI - UEFISCDI, project number PN-III-P1-1.2-PCCDI-2017-0527 / 83PCCDI / 2018, from PNCDI III.

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