Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are a heterogeneous group of small lipid-enclosed structures with myriad roles in physiology and disease. The recent surge of interest in EVs has led to greater understanding of their biology and appreciation of how they might be utilised as diagnostic and therapeutic tools. There remain, however, a number of challenges that must be overcome before EVs may be used routinely in the clinic. In this review we will discuss the translational potential of EVs and the current technologies available to isolate, purify and analyse EVs and their contents.

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