Mass spectrometry determination of metal and biomolecules in extracellular vesicles

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are increasingly recognized as crucial components influencing various pathophysiological processes, such as cellular homeostasis, cancer progression, and neurological disease. However, the lack of standardized methods for EV isolation and classification, coupled with ambiguity in biochemical markers associated with EV subtypes, remains a major challenge.

Researchers at the University of Oviedo highlight the most common approaches for EV isolation and characterization, along with recent applications of elemental mass spectrometry (MS) to analyse metals and biomolecules in EVs obtained from biofluids or in vitro cellular models. Considering the promising capabilities of elemental MS, the the researchers also look ahead to the potential analysis of EVs at the single-vesicle and single-cell levels using ICP-MS. These approaches may offer valuable insights into individual characteristics of EVs and their functions, contributing to a deeper understanding of their role in various biological processes.

Methods commonly employed to isolate EVs from biofluids and CCS, categorized according to the level of isolation achieved: EVs populations, specific EVs populations, and partitioning of EVs subpopulations

Martínez-García J, Villa-Vázquez A, Fernández B, González-Iglesias H, Pereiro R. (2023) Exploring capabilities of elemental mass spectrometry for determination of metal and biomolecules in extracellular vesicles. Anal Bioanal Chem [Epub ahead of print]. [article]

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