Exosomes are a subset of extracellular vesicles released from various cells, and they can be found in different bodily fluids. Exosomes are used as biomarkers to diagnose many diseases and to monitor therapy efficiency as they represent the status and origin of the cell, which they are released from. Considering that they co-exist in bodily fluids with other types of particles, their isolation still remains challenging since conventional separation methods are time-consuming, user-dependent, and result in low isolation yield.
Researchers from Bilkent University discuss the conventional strategies and microfluidic-based methods for exosome isolation along with their strengths and limitations. Microfluidic devices emerge as a promising approach to overcome the limitations of the conventional methods due to their inherent characteristics, such as the need for minute sample volume and rapid operation, in order to isolate exosomes with a high yield and a high purity in a short amount of time, which make them unprecedented tools for molecular biology and clinical applications. The researchers elaborate on the existing microfluidic-based exosome isolation methods and denotes their benefits and drawbacks. They also introduce various commercially available platforms and kits for exosome isolation along with their working principles.