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Luc Michiels is full professor molecular biology and is heading the BioNanoTechnology (BNT) research group at Hasselt University. The BNT group is part of the strategic research domain Cardiology of the Biomedical research institute (BIOMED) and is focusing on applying nanotechnology approaches in molecular biological research. Previously, the research was focused on the development of new biosensing principles in close collaboration with the Institute of material research (IMOMEC) at Hasselt University (joined patents: EP 2 649 197 B1 and US 9,228,970 B2). The builded expertise in bionanotechnology is now dedicated to the detection of specific subsets of EV in patient derived samples and in patient body fluids. The main research topic is to study the role of extra cellular vesicles (EV) in intercellular communication in normal and pathological conditions and particular associated with inflammation related diseases.

Over the past years the BNT group has built a vast expertise in EV based research and invested in a fully equipped EV isolation, characterization and functional testing lab. This includes ultracentrifugation, NanoTracking Analyis (NanoSight NS300; two laser system), SEC column chromatography, and in collaboration with other research groups at the Biomedical Research Institute TEM and High resolution fluorescent microscopy. Cargo analysis of EV can be achieved using western blotting and SPR biosensor technology (Biacore T200; White FOx) and a dedicated EV oriented next generation sequencing platform (BioAnalyser, LabChipGX, digital droplet PCR QX 200, QPCR, MiSeq NGS sequencer) for genetic analyses.

Selected publications:

  • S. Kuypers, N. Smisdom, I. Pintelon, J.P. Timmermans, M. Ameloot, L. Michiels, J. Hendrix, B. Hosseinkhani. Unsupervised Machine Learning-Based Clustering of Nanosized Fluorescent Extracellular Vesicles. Small, 17, (2021) DOI: 10.1002/smll.202006786. (IF: 13.28).

  • B. Hosseinkhani, N. M. S. van den Akker, D. G. M. Molin, L. Michiels. (Sub)populations of extracellular vesicles released by TNF-α –triggered human endothelial cells promote vascular inflammation and monocyte migration. Journal of Extracellular Vesicles, 9, (2020) DOI: 10.1080/20013078.2020.1801153. (IF: 25.84).

  • Baharak Hosseinkhani, Sören Kuypers, Nynke M.S. van den Akker, Daniel G.M. Molin, Luc Michiels. Extracellular vesicles work as a functional inflammatory mediator between vascular endothelial cells and immune cells. Frontiers in Immunology 9:1789 (13) 2018. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.01789 (IF: 4.72)

  • Hosseinkhani Baharak, van den Akker Nynke, D’Haen Jan, Gagliardi Mick, Struys Tom, Lambrichts Ivo, Waltenberger Johannes, Nelissen Inge, Hooyberghs Jef, Molin Daniel G.M., Michiels Luc. Direct detection of nano-scale extracellular vesicles derived from inflammation-triggered endothelial cells using surface plasmon resonance, Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine (2017), doi:10.1016/j.nano.2017.03.010 (IF: 5.57)

Luc Michiels