Nieuwland R.: Extracellular vesicles and platelets in health and disease

  • Gool, Elmar (Internal PhD candidate)
  • Horjus, Doortje (Internal PhD candidate)
  • de Rond, Leonie (Internal PhD candidate)
  • Yu, Yu (Internal PhD candidate)
  • Nieuwland, Rienk (Principal investigator)
  • Coumans, Frank (PostDoc)
  • Hajji, Najat (Other)
  • Hau, Chi (Other)
  • Sturk, Guus (Other)
  • Rikkert, Linda (External PhD candidate)

Project Details


All human body fluids contain not only cells but also high concentrations (10E7-10E12/mL) of cell-derived (extracellular) vesicles.The bulk (>80%) of these extracelullar vesicles (EV) are ultra-small, having a diameter <200 nm. Because (i) the concentration, composition, cellular origin and function of extracellular vesicles (EV) change during disease, and because (ii) EV play an active role in disease development and progression, intercellular communication and protection of cells and even organisms, there is since 2000-2001 an exponentionally growing scientific and clinical interest in EV.

By an intensive and long-standing collaboration with the Department of Biomedical Engineering (Prof. Dr. T.G. van Leeuwen, Dr. F. Coumans, Dr. E. van der Pol), we have now an internationally acknowledged research group with a keen interest on EV detection, isolation and functional characterization. Earlier we coordinated an EU metrology research project focused on detection of EV ( In 2014, we initiated a Dutch STW-funded perspectief program (M€ 5.8), CANCER-ID, which is a collaboration between 6 Dutch universities and 22 SME's, and aimed at developing one or more platforms to enable the reliable detection and characterization of tumor-derived vesicles in blood.

The output of our multi-disciplinary collaboration is internationally appreciated and acknowledged, as evident from invitations to present keynote/state-of the art lectures (ISTH 2013, ISAC 2015, Gordon Conference 2016), co-founding the international flow cytometry work group of ISEV-ISAC-ISTH (, coordinating a first multi-centre trial –the Bouilloud study- on the prediction of venous thromboembolism in cancer patients (800-1,000 patients) by measuring the coagulant activity of EV using an AMC-developed functional EV assay, invitations to contribute to development of online teaching courses (ISEV, ISTH), invitation to contribute to training of students (e.g. Karolinska Institute 2015, CDW Course San Diego 2016), invitation from scientific journals as Circulation Research (American Heart Association) to coordinate a review on isolation and detection of EV (to be published in 2017), etc. Furthermore, we also provide an international student training facility.

Finally, we have a unique central platelet research facility within the AMC, which has been used by >10 different departments within the AMC and VUMC for clinical platelet studies.
Effective start/end date1/01/2007 → …