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Nsrein Ali, Speaker at Dermatology Conferences
University of Oulu, Finland
Title : Clinical-grade patches as a medium for enrichment of sweat-extracellular vesicles and facilitating their metabolic analysis


Cell-secreted extracellular vesicles (EVs), carrying components such as RNA, DNA, proteins, and metabolites, serve as candidates for developing non-invasive solutions for monitoring health and disease, owing to their capacity to cross various biological barriers and to become integrated into human sweat. However, the evidence for sweat-associated EVs providing clinically relevant information to use in disease diagnostics has not been reported. Developing cost-effective, easy, and reliable methodologies to investigate EVs’ molecular load and composition in the sweat may help to validate their relevance in clinical diagnosis. We used clinical-grade dressing patches, with the aim being to accumulate, purify and characterize sweat EVs from healthy participants exposed to transient heat. The skin patch-based protocol described in this paper enables the enrichment of sweat EVs that express EV markers, such as CD63. A targeted metabolomics study of the sweat EVs identified 24 components. These are associated with amino acids, glutamate, glutathione, fatty acids, TCA, and glycolysis pathways. Furthermore, as a proof-of-concept, when comparing the metabolites’ levels in sweat EVs isolated from healthy individuals with those of participants with Type 2 diabetes following heat exposure, our findings revealed that the metabolic patterns of sweat EVs may be linked with metabolic changes. Moreover, the concentration of these metabolites may reflect correlations with blood glucose and BMI. Together our data revealed that sweat EVs can be purified using routinely used clinical patches, setting the foundations for larger-scale clinical cohort work. Furthermore, the metabolites identified in sweat EVs also offer a realistic means to identify relevant disease biomarkers. This study thus provides a proof-of-concept towards a novel methodology that will focus on the use of the sweat EVs and their metabolites as a non-invasive approach, in order to monitor wellbeing and changes in diseases.
Key words to the audience: Secreted extracellular vesicles, Heatwaves, Association, Metabolites and Health parameters


Following a scholarship awarded by the Syrian Research Ministry of High Education, Nsrein received her PhD “Role of the transcription factor HIF-1a in the skin physiology and its response towards UV exposure” in Biotechnology from INPL at Lorrain University in 2011. Dr. Ali moved back to Syria with an assistance research position at Aleppo city-Syria, and worked as lecturer at two Universities, Aleppo and Dier ez-Zour (2011-2012). Dr. Ali moved to Oulu-Finland in 2013, where she started her post-doc. Dr. Ali is now the responsible researcher for the Tandem Industry Academia project (2021- 2023) “Clinical Validation of Novel Sport and Diabetes Related Analytes Offer New Wearable Diagnostics Solution” in partnership with Polar Electro to develop a smart watch for non-invasive blood glucose monitoring. Nsrein leads the skin team in Pr. Vainio’s lab and is currently supervising one PhD student, five master students and one research assistant. The main research focus of Dr. Ali’s is investigating a new strategy for developing non-invasive blood glucose monitoring in the skin based on the identification of novel biomarkers. Dr. Ali has twelve peer reviewed publications in international journals and five under revision. Exploring health advice currently available on non-traditional information sources.