Clotilde Théry, PSL Research University, France
Kenneth W. Witwer, Johns Hopkins University
Elena Aikawa, Harvard University
Maria Jose Alcaraz, University of Valencia, Spain
Johnathon D. Anderson, University of California - Davis
Ramaroson Andriantsitohaina, Université d'Angers, France
Anna Antoniou, University of Bonn, Germany
Tanina Arab, Université de Lille, France
Fabienne Archer, University of Lyon, France
Georgia K. Atkin-Smith, La Trobe University, Australia
D. Craig Ayre, Mount Allison University, Canada
Jean-Marie Bach, Université Bretagne Loire, France
Daniel Bachurski, University of Cologne, Germany
Hossein Baharvand, Academic Center for Education, Culture and Research, Iran
Leonora Balaj, Massachusetts General Hospital
Shawn Baldacchino, University of Malta, Malta
Natalie N. Bauer, University of South Alabama
Amy A. Baxter, La Trobe University, Australia
Mary Bebawy, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Carla Beckham, University of Rochester
Apolonija Bedina Zavec, National Institute of Chemistry, Slovenia
Adberrahim Benmoussa, Université Laval, Canada
Anna C. Berardi, Ospedale Santo Spirito, Italy
Paolo Bergese, University of Brescia, Italy
Ewa Bielska, University of Birmingham, UK
Cherie Blenkiron, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Sylwia Bobis-Wozowicz, Jagiellonian University, Poland
Eric Boilard, Université Laval, Canada
Wilfred Boireau, FEMTO-ST Institute, France
Antonella Bongiovanni, Institute of Biomedicine and Molecular Immunology, Italy
Ivan Vechetti, University of KentuckyFollow


The last decade has seen a sharp increase in the number of scientific publications describing physiological and pathological functions of extracellular vesicles (EVs), a collective term covering various subtypes of cell-released, membranous structures, called exosomes, microvesicles, microparticles, ectosomes, oncosomes, apoptotic bodies, and many other names. However, specific issues arise when working with these entities, whose size and amount often make them difficult to obtain as relatively pure preparations, and to characterize properly. The International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) proposed Minimal Information for Studies of Extracellular Vesicles (“MISEV”) guidelines for the field in 2014. We now update these “MISEV2014” guidelines based on evolution of the collective knowledge in the last four years. An important point to consider is that ascribing a specific function to EVs in general, or to subtypes of EVs, requires reporting of specific information beyond mere description of function in a crude, potentially contaminated, and heterogeneous preparation. For example, claims that exosomes are endowed with exquisite and specific activities remain difficult to support experimentally, given our still limited knowledge of their specific molecular machineries of biogenesis and release, as compared with other biophysically similar EVs. The MISEV2018 guidelines include tables and outlines of suggested protocols and steps to follow to document specific EV-associated functional activities. Finally, a checklist is provided with summaries of key points.

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Notes/Citation Information

Published in Journal of Extracellular Vesicles, v. 7, issue 1, 1535750, p. 1-43.

© 2018 The Author(s). Published by InformaUK Limited, trading as Taylor & FrancisGroup on behalf of The International Societyfor Extracellular Vesicles.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Due to the large number of authors, only the first 30 and the authors affiliated with the University of Kentucky are listed in the author section above. For the complete list of authors, please download this article or visit:

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Funding Information

CT’s laboratory is funded by INSERM, Institut Curie, Ministry of Education, and grants from INCa (INCA-11548), French National Research Agency (ANR-10-IDEX-0001-02 PSL* and ANR-11-LABX-0043), SIDACTION (17-1-AAE-1138), Fondation ARC (PGA1 RF20180206962, PJA 20171206453). KWW and CT receive support from NIDA (DA040385). KWW is also supported in part by NIA AG057430, NIDA DA047807 and NIMH MH118164.