Exosome Purification and Analysis Using a Facile Microfluidic Hydrodynamic Trapping Device

Anal Chem. 2020 Aug 4;92(15):10733-10742. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.0c02006. Epub 2020 Jul 17.

Abstract

Exosomes are nanosized (30-150 nm) extracellular vesicles (EVs) secreted by various cell types. They are easily accessible in biological fluids and contain specific disease biomarkers, making them attractive for diagnosis and prognosis applications. Accurate biological characterization of exosomes is an important step toward clinical applications that require effective and precise isolation of subpopulations of exosomes. It is therefore of particular importance to develop an efficient and reliable exosome purification technique to isolate exosomes from the heterogeneous extracellular fluids. In this work, we intend to isolate and visualize exosomes by combining an affinity-based method and passive microfluidic particle trapping. Microbeads with a diameter of 20 μm are first functionalized with streptavidin and biotinylated antibodies and then used to immobilize and enrich exosomes on their surfaces using antigen-antibody affinity binding. We have developed a microfluidic device with trapping arrays to efficiently trap a large number of individual microbeads with enriched exosomes at the single-particle level, i.e., one single bead per trapping site, on the basis of a passive hydrodynamic trapping principle. The large-scale microfluidic single-bead trapping permits massively multiplexed fluorescence detection and quantification of the individual beads, which prevents the optical interfering of background noise as well as allowing one to acquire an average fluorescence density of a single bead for an accurate fluorescence-based exosome quantification. In addition, on-chip elusion and lysis of the protein and RNA content of captured exosomes enable further molecular analysis of exosomes, including Western blot and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. This microfluidic device provides a rapid and straightforward capturing and quantification method to analyze EVs for a variety of biological studies and applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't