Systematic review of factors influencing extracellular vesicle yield from cell cultures

The potential therapeutic utility of extracellular vesicles (EVs) has spawned an interest into a scalable production, where the quantity and purity of EV samples is sufficient for clinical applications. EVs can be isolated using several different protocols; however, these isolation protocols and the subsequent methods of quantifying the resulting EV yield have not been sufficiently standardized. Therefore, the possibility of comparing different studies with respect to these parameters is limited.

In this review, researchers from Aalborg University have presented factors that might influence the yield and function of EVs from cell culture supernatants. The methods of isolation, downstream quantification, and culture conditions of the EV producing cells have been discussed. In order to examine the inter-study coherency of EV yields, 259 studies were initially screened, and 46 studies were included for extensive downstream analysis of EV yields where information pertaining to the isolation protocols and quantification methods was obtained from each study. Several other factors influencing yield were compared, such as cell type producing EVs, cell confluence level, and cell stimulation. In conclusion, various factors may impact the resulting EV yield, including technical aspects such as EV isolation and quantification procedures, and biological aspects such as cell type and culture conditions. The reflections presented in this review might aid in future standardization of the workflow in EV research.

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The workflow for study analysis, including inclusion criteria and deliminations. A total of 259 studies met the initial inclusion criteria, whereas only 46 of these met the yield criteria

Gudbergsson JM, Johnsen KB, Skov MN, Duroux M. (2015) Systematic review of factors influencing extracellular vesicle yield from cell cultures. Cytotechnology [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]

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