Patients with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) have been found to have increased mortality and morbidity for COVID-19 and are at higher risk for severe disease once infected with COVID-19. Clearly, there exists a relationship between T2D and COVID-19 that requires more attention. In order to understand the mechanisms by which T2D contributes to more severe COVID-19 disease, attention was turned to extracellular vesicles (EVs). It was speculated that viral RNA components of the COVID-19 virus may have originated from circulating EVs that came from infected cells and use a Trojan Exosome method to infect host cells. It is necessary to characterize the EVs and viral RNA components of COVID-19 patients to understand the infection mechanisms. EV purification, liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrophotometry, nanoparticle tracking analysis, Real Time-Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR), and Bioanalyzer analysis were performed for this using patient samples from Advent Health Orlando. Results found that qPCR was unable to detect COVID-19 viral RNA in the EVs of these patients, most likely a result of poor sensitivity. This study contributes towards defining the proteomic landscape of circulating EVs in people with COVID-19 and T2D and identifying biological mechanisms driving the interaction between the two diseases. Future directions include profiling the small noncoding RNAs found in COVID-19 patients and utilizing different methods to analyze isolated RNA to identify COVID-19 viral materials in EVs.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Borgon, Robert


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Medicine


Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences

Degree Program

Biomedical Sciences



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date


Restricted to the UCF community until 11-1-2022; it will then be open access.