Exosomes are naturally occurring extracellular nanovesicles (EV) that are being secreted by all cells, in all kingdoms of life. They play an essential role in cellular communication and modulate fate and function of their recipient cells by functional transfer of macromolecules across cellular and tissue barriers. In contrast to most synthetic delivery vehicles, exosomes are actively recruited by recipient cells through their filopodia and effectively internalised into plasma membrane derived endosomes, with quantitative and qualitative reminiscence of viruses and other highly infective pathogens (Heusermann W et al, JCB 2016). Within cells they shuttle as intact vesicles within endosomes that are directed to scan along the endoplasmatic reticulum in a stop-and-go movement before being targeted to the lysosomal compartment for degradation. Exosomes are now considered as evolutionarily optimised, highly effective nanotransporters of macromolecules across biological barriers, targeted from donor to recipient cells and composed by a repertoire of proteins, lipids and nucleic acids dependent of the dynamic state of their parent cells. Therefore, their biology bears immense potential for biomedical applications of the future, ranging from non-invasive diagnostics and biomarkers to cell-free cell-therapy and biomimetic drug delivery. However, a translation of their powerful biology towards clinical applications and ultimately pharmaceutical development is facing limitations due to our lack of understanding of their underlying molecular, cellular and physiological mechanisms as well as the available analytical capabilities to monitor these heterogeneous and complex biological species.


In our group we are focussing on:

  • elucidating fundamental mechanisms in EV biogenesis, transport and their interactions with recipient cells using quantitative molecular imaging and chemical biology
  • Investigating fundamental mechanisms and pathways shared between exosomes and viruses in their uptake, trafficking and metabolism in host cells
  • developing analytical methods for monitoring extracellular vesicles at the single vesicle – single molecule level
  • establishing novel strategies for isolation and engineering of (edible) EVs from different sources and species including dairy products, fruits and eggs and
  • developing prototypes for EV-based oral drug delivery applications.
  • development of antiviral exosomes as therapeutic platform for future pandemic preparedness
  • News
    The Paris Lodron University of Salzburg has launched an in-house mentoring program for new students as part of the “On Track” project. And it has come at the right time, because the lockdown has made the start of their studies into a real challenge for many first-semester students.
    18 participants recently completed the university course in early childhood education with a master's degree. The course was held for the second time in Salzburg. Regional Minister Andrea Klambauer awarded prizes to nine of the graduates for their outstanding theses.
    The recording of the PLUS Talks "Studies and Teaching WS 2020/21“ from 25.11.2020 is now available.
    Matthias Henke, musicologist, Danube University Krems, talks about Beethoven's current biography “Beethoven. Akkord der Welt ( Chord of the World)”, published in 2020 by Hanser Verlag.
    24 very easy exercises on 24 cards can be found in the SALTO advent calendar. The exercise ideas are ideal for children from the age of three and are also easy for the whole family to carry out in a small space. With the support of the Kinder Büro (Children's Office), this combinable contribution should benefit as many as possible.
    Researchers led by Salzburg's geoinformatics scientist Christian Neuwirth had already developed and presented a mathematical model for Covid-19 in May 2020 which examines the question of how long and intensively social distancing measures have to be maintained in order to reduce corona deaths further.
    Results of the study on media use by children and families during lockdown. Home schooling could be improved, but is on the right track. Secondary schools have a better profile. Families have learned to deal with lockdown and homeschooling.
    A study carried out by the sleep laboratory of the Faculty of Natural Sciences on the topic of sleep under the direction Prof. Dr. Manuel Schabus is dedicated to the changes in sleep during the Covid-19 lockdown in 6 different countries (Ö, AT, UK, GR, CU, BRA). The fear, which is worrying from a psychological point of view, and which is evident across society, is also reflected in this data: 78% of those surveyed feel threatened or worried by the Covid-19 pandemic.
    Online lecture on chemistry: December 2nd 2020 - 6 p.m. Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna received the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of one of the sharpest tools in genetic engineering: the CRISPR / Cas9 genetic scissors. With this technology, researchers can modify the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with extremely high precision.
    The PLUS Report 2020 has been published.
    Digitization has led to an enormous spread of different forms of mobile working. Corona has brought an additional boost and has introduced home office in areas and for activities that were previously unimaginable.
    During the time of Corona, in particular, it became clear just how important it is to support students digitally in their every day university life. The project „On Track“ – stay on track combines digital and social worlds. It is starting at the right time!
  • Veranstaltungen
  • 01.12.20 Adventkalender der Universitätsbibliothek Salzburg 2020
    01.12.20 Der Körper als PLAYFUL TOOL
    02.12.20 Adventkalender der Universitätsbibliothek Salzburg 2020
    02.12.20 PLUS startupSPRECHTAG - gather your ideas
    02.12.20 Musikpyhsiologie und Musikermedizin: Musizieren im Zusammenwirken von Psyche und Körper
    02.12.20 Nobelpreise 2020 - CHEMIE (Genschere)
    03.12.20 Adventkalender der Universitätsbibliothek Salzburg 2020
    04.12.20 Adventkalender der Universitätsbibliothek Salzburg 2020
    04.12.20 Ideen mit Methode
    05.12.20 Adventkalender der Universitätsbibliothek Salzburg 2020
    06.12.20 Adventkalender der Universitätsbibliothek Salzburg 2020
    07.12.20 Adventkalender der Universitätsbibliothek Salzburg 2020
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