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Rilla Lab

Research group

Group description

Research Goals
We aim to utilize the unique properties of hyaluronic acid (HA) to enhance the safety and specific targeting of HA-based nanocarriers. We use modern high resolution, 3-dimensional and live-cell bioimaging techniques and their combinations, and develop novel methods for EV engineering and analysis. We are interested in the impact of extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules and adhesion receptors, such as HA and CD44 on the EV biogenesis, traffic, and interactions with their target cells. Our aim is to increase the understanding of the basic biology of EV which helps to develop novel methods for drug delivery, treatments, and diagnostics.

Scientific and Societal Impact of Research
EVs are natural next-generation tools for targeted therapy and early diagnostics of cancer and other widespread diseases, such as various types of inflammation and metabolic diseases. Their presence in all body fluids like plasma and urine enables their non-invasive detection from liquid biopsies instead of the limited sample obtained with fixed biopsies. Furthermore, stem cell-derived EVs act as promising tools for cell-free therapy of damaged, slowly regenerating tissues, such as cartilage. In addition to their diagnostic and therapeutic value, EVs act as important regulators of human physiology both in health and disease.

Cooperation

  • Wojciech Chrzanowski

    University of Sydney

  • Paraskevi Heldin

    University of Uppsala

  • Carla Oliveira

    University of Porto

  • Jaana Hartikainen

    University of Eastern Finland

  • Reijo Sironen

    Kuopio University Hospital

  • Arto Koistinen

    SIB Labs, UEF

  • Eija Jokitalo

    University of Helsinki

  • Pia Siljander

    University of Helsinki

  • Mary Cowman

    University of New York

  • Saara Laitinen

    Finnish Red Cross Blood Service

  • Timo Laaksonen

    University of Helsinki

  • Tatu Lajunen

    University of Helsinki and Eastern Finland

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