A vesicle is a small structure within a cell, consisting of fluid enclosed by a lipid bilayer. Vesicles form naturally during the processes of secretion (exocytosis), uptake (endocytosis) and transport of materials within the cytoplasm. Alternatively, they may be prepared artificially, in which case they are called liposomes.

If there is only one phospholipid bilayer, they are called unilamellar liposome vesicles; otherwise they are called multilamellar. The membrane enclosing the vesicle is also a lamellar phase, similar to that of the plasma membrane and vesicles can fuse with the plasma membrane to release their contents outside the cell. Vesicles can also fuse with other organelles within the cell.

Extracellular vesicles.

Exosomes are cell-derived vesicles that are present in many and perhaps all eukaryotic fluids, including blood, urine, and cultured medium of cell cultures.

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  • Last modified: 2018/07/11 18:21
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