The rapid and accurate diagnosis of patients with minimally invasive procedures was once only found in science fiction. However, the discovery of extracellular vesicles (EVs) and their near ubiquity in body fluids, coupled with the advent of inexpensive next generation sequencing techniques and EV purification protocols, promises to make science fiction a reality. Purifying and sequencing the RNA content of EV from routine blood draws and urine samples are likely to enable pathologists and physicians to diagnose and track the progress of diseases in many inaccessible tissues in the near future. Here we present the evolutionary background of EV, summarize the biology of EV formation and cargo selection, and discuss the current barriers to making continuous liquid biopsies through the use of EV a science reality.
- Cell-free RNA
- Extracellular vesicles
- Liquid biopsy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine