Methods for isolation and quantification of exosomes

Exosomes are the smallest extracellular vesicles present in most of the biological fluids. They are found to play an important role in cell signaling, immune response, tumor metastasis, etc. Studies have shown that these vesicles also have diagnostic and therapeutic roles for which their accurate detection and quantification is essential. Due to the complexity in size and structure of exosomes, even the gold standard methods face challenges. This comprehensive review discusses the various standard methods such as ultracentrifugation, ultrafiltration, size-exclusion chromatography, precipitation, immunoaffinity, and microfluidic technologies for the isolation of exosomes. The principle of isolation of each method is described, as well as their specific advantages and disadvantages. Quantification of exosomes by nanoparticle tracking analysis, flow cytometry, tunable resistive pulse sensing, electron microscopy, dynamic light scattering, and microfluidic devices are also described, along with the applications of exosomes in various biomedical domains.

Fig. 1
a Illustrates the process by which exosomes are produced and released from the cell; b shows the overall composition including the surface markers of an exosome released from the cell.

Kurian TK, Banik S, Gopal D, Chakrabarti S, Mazumder N. (2021) Elucidating Methods for Isolation and Quantification of Exosomes: A Review. Mol Biotechnol [Epub ahead of print]. [article]

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