Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are nanosized structures able to carry proteins, lipids and genetic material from one cell to another with critical implications in intercellular communication mechanisms. Even though the rapidly growing EVs research field has sparked great interest in the last 20 years, many biological and technical aspects still remain challenging. One of the main issues that the field is facing is the absence of consensus regarding methods for EVs concentration from biofluids and tissue culture medium. Yet, not only can classic methods be time consuming, commercialized kits are also often quite expensive, especially when research requires analyzing numerous samples or concentrating EVs from large sample volumes. In addition, EV concentration often results in either low final yield or significant contamination of the vesicle sample with proteins and protein complexes of similar densities and sizes. Eventually, low vesicle yields highly limit any further application and data reproducibility while contamination greatly impacts extensive functional studies. Hence, there is a need for accessible and sustainable methods for improved vesicle concentration as this is a critical step in any EVs-related research study. In this brief report, we describe a novel combination of three well-known methods in order to obtain moderate-to-high yields of EVs with reduced protein contamination. We believe that such methods could be of high benefits for in vitro and in vivo functional studies.
Keywords: differential ultracentrifugation; extracellular vesicles; size exclusion chromatography.