A flow cytometry strategy that enables population analysis of limited volume EV samples

Extracellular Vesicles (EVs), membrane vesicles released by all cells, are emerging mediators of cell-cell communication. By carrying biomolecules from tissues to biofluids, EVs have attracted attention as non-invasive sources of clinical biomarkers in liquid biopsies. EVs-based liquid biopsies usually require EVs isolation before content analysis, which frequently increases sample volume requirements.

Researchers from Champalimaud Research present a Flow Cytometry (FC) strategy that does not require isolation or concentration of EVs prior to staining. By doing so, it enables population analysis of EVs in samples characterized by challenging small volumes, while reducing overall sample processing time. To illustrate its application, the researchers performed longitudinal non-lethal population analysis of EVs in mouse plasma and in single-animal collections of murine vitreous humor. By quantifying the proportion of vesicular particles in purified and non-purified biological samples, this method also serves as a precious tool to quality control isolates of EVs purified by different protocols. This FC strategy has an unexplored clinical potential to analyze EVs in biofluids with intrinsically limited volumes and to multiply the number of different analytes in EVs that can be studied from a single collection of biofluid.

Maia J, Batista S, Couto N, Gregório AC, Bodo C, Elzanowska J, Strano Moraes MC, Costa-Silva B. (2020) Employing Flow Cytometry to Extracellular Vesicles Sample Microvolume Analysis and Quality Control. Front Cell Dev Biol 8:593750. [article]

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