Quantification of Exosomes

J Cell Physiol. 2017 Jul;232(7):1587-1590. doi: 10.1002/jcp.25387. Epub 2017 Mar 1.


Exosomes are released by cells as self-contained vesicles with an intact lipid bilayer that encapsulates a small portion of the parent cell. Exosomes have been studied widely as information-rich sources of potential biomarkers that can reveal cellular physiology. We suggest that quantification is essential to understand basic biological relationships between exosomes and their parent cells and hence the underlying interpretation of exosome signals. The number of methods for quantifying exosomes has expanded as interest in exosomes has increased. However, a consensus on proper quantification has not developed, making each study difficult to compare to another. Overcoming this ad hoc approach will require widely available standards that have been adequately characterized, and multiple comparative studies across platforms. We outline the current status of these technical approaches and our view of how they can become more coherent. J. Cell. Physiol. 232: 1587-1590, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electrochemistry
  • Exosomes / metabolism*
  • Exosomes / ultrastructure
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Surface Plasmon Resonance