Extracellular Vesicles in Translational Medicine

Extracellular vesicles are formed by diverse cell types via exocytosis or budding and they transport, e.g., proteins and genetic material into extracellular space and body fluids. They represent their cellular origin and shuttle biological signals between cells. Vesicles participate in metastatic and thrombotic states and their formation is upregulated in inflammation, especially in orthopaedic diseases.

Group Leader

Petteri Nieminen, MD, PhD, DMedSci, DTh, Docent,
Assistant professor (tenure track), petteri.nieminen (at) uef.fi

Reseach Goals

We are investigating the significance, anatomical variation and therapeutic potential of extracellular vesicles in widespread diseases (cancer, osteoarthritis) by studying their formation, molecular transport, membrane fatty acid composition and the factors that could influence these vesicular characteristics.

Scientific and Societal Impact of Research

By understanding the biology of extracellular vesicles in different disease states it will be possible to develop therapeutic methods to affect the formation of vesicles or to utilize them as therapeutic agents. In addition, vesicles provide an attractive alternative as disease biomarkers.


Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation


Heikki Kröger, Antti Joukainen (KUH Orthopaedics), Reijo Käkelä, Seppo Saarela (University of Oulu), Kirsti Rouvinen-Watt (Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada), Rami Korhonen (UEF)

Research Group 

Vesa Kärjä, Anne-Mari Mustonen, Johanna Matilainen