New Study Demonstrates Efficient Exosome Isolation from Biological Fluids Using Proprietary Technology from Biological Dynamics

Biological Dynamics, a leader in exosome-isolation technology for early disease detection, announced a newly published study in the journal Electrophoresis titled, “Enhancement of Dielectrophoresis-Based Particle Collection from High Conducting Fluids Due to Partial Electrode Insulation.” The collaborative research with Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) sheds light on the phenomenon occurring on Biological Dynamics’ ExoVerita platform that allows for the capture of biomarkers carried by nanoscale particles.

Extracellular vesicles, including exosomes, are naturally released from cells into the bloodstream and carry cellular biomarkers that can be specific for a variety of different diseases, including cancer. Detecting and recovering exosomes to analyze the biomarkers they carry has been a challenge due to their low levels, small sizes, and low buoyant density.

“This publication further supports our novel technology and its ability to successfully isolate exosomes circulating in the blood, providing valuable information about people’s health that may lead to early disease detection,” said Paul R. Billings, MD, Ph.D., CEO and Director of Biological Dynamics.

Biological Dynamics’ proprietary lab-on-a-chip platform leverages AC Electrokinetics (ACE) technology for the isolation of exosomes from undiluted biofluids, such as whole blood, plasma, and serum.

The research, led by Dr. Stuart D. Ibsen, Ph.D. at OHSU, and Juan Pablo Hinestrosa, Ph.D., VP of Research at Biological Dynamics, was prompted by the desire to further the understanding of the technology and its ability to isolate biomarkers. The findings are key to applications such as liquid biopsy tests where increasing the collection of cancer-derived exosomes is crucial for improved sensitivity.

Dome formation and collection of polystyrene beads with dielectrophoresis (DEP)

(A) cross-sectional and top view schematics of the DEP chips used for particle collection. The green circles represent particles in high-conductance samples, such as plasma, blood, or 0.5× phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). The pink layer on top of the electrodes in the cross-sectional view panel represents a hydrogel that covers the chip surface for sample protection and prevention of electrode corrosion. Here, the sample has been introduced into the microfluidic chamber but no DEP has been applied. (B) An AC electric field has been applied and DEP has started, the hydrogel starts detaching from the electrode surface forming a dome and the particles move toward positive DEP (pDEP) collection around the electrode edges. In the top view panel, the darkening of the electrode edges is an indicator of the dome formation. (C) Fully formed hydrogel domes on top of each electrode with particles collected all around the electrode edges. (D) Photograph of the DEP chip used for these experiments next to a Mexican peso for scale (diameter 21 mm). (E) Image taken of the microfluidic chip where the circles are the electrodes. Voltage has not been applied. (F) DEP has been applied for 10 min, and the darkening of the edges of the electrodes indicates the formation of the dome. (G) Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image of a control electrode with no AC application. The surface is smooth. (H) The chip was flash frozen and lyophilized to show the morphology of the hydrogel layer. An electrode is shown that had an AC signal applied in 0.5× PBS and (I) in plasma. The surfaces show wrinkles from plastic deformation of the hydrogel and collapse of the dome during freezing in both the 0.5× PBS and plasma conditions. A ring of collected endogenous material from the plasma is at the electrode edge. (J) A tilted angle view of a control electrode with no AC application. (K) Flash frozen and lyophilized image of a tilted electrode that had AC applied in 0.5× PBS and (L) in plasma.

“Isolating exosomes has been a major constraint on the advancement of exosome-based research,” said Dr. Hinestrosa. “Our findings reinforce the impact our technology has on the ability to collect biologically derived nanoparticles from undiluted high-conductance media.”

“This is a major step forward in understanding how to achieve enhancement of electrokinetic based nanoparticle collection,” said Dr. Ibsen. “I look forward to seeing how the advancements we make with the technique improve the capability of diagnostic tools to detect and analyze diseases.”


Luna R, Heineck D, Hinestrosa JP, Dobrovolskaia I, Hamilton S, Malakian A, Gustafson KT, Huynh KT, Kim S, Ware J, Stimson E, Ross C, Schutt CE, Ibsen SD. (2023) Enhancement of dielectrophoresis-based particle collection from high conducting fluids due to partial electrode insulation. Electrophoresis [Epub ahead of print]. [article]

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