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Intercellular transfer of nanomaterials by cell-released vesicles

How can cells subjected to stress communicate at a distance ? They release some microvesicles from their plasma membrane, which transport a variety of biological effectors as cargos. Even nanomaterials can use these membrane-enclosed vectors to escape the cell and travel to other cells, discovered the team "NanoBioMagnetism" using magnetic nanoparticles.

Upon activation or apoptosis, normal and malignant cells release submicron fragments from their plasma membrane. These microvesicles survive the parental cell and transport selected biological signals to proximal or remote cells. Circulating microvesicles represent a newly recognized system of long-range intercellular communication, involved in many physiological or pathological process, like coagulation, angiogenesis or dissemination of cancer. The team "NanoBioMagnetism" demonstrated that cell-internalized magnetic nanoparticles can escape the cell within these microvesicles, travel in the extracellular space and be transferred to remote cells. This remote translocation of nanoparticles complexifies the issue of the outcome of nanomaterials in the organism. Moreover, the association of cell-released vesicles with magnetic nanoparticles, to design multifunctional biogenic vectors, opens new prospects for non-invasive monitoring and distal manipulations of these biological effectors.


  • Nathalie Luciani :
  • Florence Gazeau :
  • Claire Wilhelm :


  • "The role of cell-released microvesicles in the intercellular transfer of magnetic nanoparticles in the monocyte/macrophage system", Luciani N, Wilhelm C, Gazeau F., Biomaterials 2010 Sep. 31(27) 7061-9. Epub 2010 Jun 18.
  • "Magnetic tagging of cell-derived microparticles: new prospects for imaging and manipulation of these mediators of biological information", Vats N, Wilhelm C, Rautou PE, Poirier-Quinot M, Péchoux C, Devue C, Boulanger CM, Gazeau F. Nanomedicine (Lond) 2010 Jul. 5(5) 727-38.

Contact : Published on / Publié le 23 September 2010