Standardisation of concentration measurements of extracellular vesicles for medical diagnoses


Welcome to the website of European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research Joint Research Project 18HLT01: Standardisation of concentration measurements of extracellular vesicles for medical diagnoses (METVES II).


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are cell-derived particles present in body fluids, and EVs have excellent potential as next-generation biomarkers for early diagnosis of common diseases, such as cancer and thrombosis. This project aims to tap the clinical potential of EVs by developing traceable measurements of number concentration, size distribution, refractive index and fluorescence intensity of cell-specific EVs in human blood and urine. The project will develop synthetic reference materials with physical properties resembling EVs, ready-to-use biological test samples, and instrumentation and procedures to standardise EV measurements in clinical laboratories, which will be evaluated in an inter-laboratory comparison study.

Start date: 
End date: 
1 June 2019
1 June 2022

This website contains news, a project summary, and a description of the work packages of Joint Research Project METVES II. In addition, you can find a list with the involved people and institutes, an overview of the generated output, and links relevant to the project. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Extracellular vesicles from human urine
Transmission electron microscopy image of extracellular vesicles from human urine.
Hollow organosilica beads
Transmission electron microscopy image of hollow organosilica beads, which have a size and refractive index distribution similar to extracellular vesicles.
Small angle X-ray scattering setup at Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt
Small angle X-ray scattering setup of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt at BESSY II, which is utilized to determine the size of reference particles.


  • 12 February 2020: The first progress meeting of METVES II took place in Budapest. In sum, the first preliminary reference materials (hollow organosilica beads, low refractive index particles, and liposomes) as well as ready-to-use biological test samples have been produced and will soon be characterized.


  • 20 October 2020: Second progress meeting in Berlin.
  • January 2021: Start inter-laboratory comparison study.
  • March 2021: Webinar to participants of the inter-laboratory comparison study.
  • March 2022: Release of educational video about the use of METVES II reference materials and methods.
  • May 2022: Workshop on the synergy between metrology, industry and healthcare.