Isolation of extracellular vesicles by a microfluidic platform to diagnose and monitor pancreatic cancer

Exosomes are extracellular vesicles that are involved in cell-cell communication. Considering their bioavailability and accessibility in all the body fluids (including the blood, semen, breast milk, saliva, and urine), their use has been proposed as an alternative noninvasive tool for the diagnosis, monitoring, and prognosis of several diseases, including cancer. The isolation of exosomes and their subsequent analysis are emerging as a promising technique in diagnostics and personalized medicine. The most widely employed isolation procedure is differential ultracentrifugation, but this approach is laborious, time-consuming, and expensive and with limited isolation yield. Microfluidic devices are now emerging as novel platforms for exosome isolation, which is a low cost technology and enables high purity and fast treatment of exosome isolation. Researchers from University of Zaragoza describe a microfluidic device that enables inflow capture and separation from whole blood using antibody-functionalized magnetic nanoparticles. This device allows isolation of pancreatic cancer-derived exosomes from whole blood without the need of any pretreatment, resulting in a high sensitivity.

Sancho-Albero M, Sebastián V. (2023) Isolation of Extracellular Vesicles by a Microfluidic Platform to Diagnose and Monitor Pancreatic Cancer. Methods Mol Biol 2679:181-191. [abstract]

 

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