Exosomes are enclosed compartments that are released from cells and that can transport biological contents for the purpose of intercellular communications. Research into exosomes is hindered by their rarity.
In this article, researchers from Pohang University of Science and Technology introduce a device that uses centrifugal force and a filter with micro-sized pores to generate a large quantity of cell-derived nanovesicles. The device has a simple polycarbonate structure to hold the filter, and operates in a common centrifuge. Nanovesicles are similar in size and membrane structure to exosomes. Nanovesicles contain intracellular RNAs ranging from microRNA to mRNA, intracellular proteins, and plasma membrane proteins. The quantity of nanovesicles produced using the device is 250 times the quantity of naturally secreted exosomes. Also, the quantity of intracellular contents in nanovesicles is twice that in exosomes. Nanovesicles generated from murine embryonic stem cells can transfer RNAs to target cells. Therefore, this novel device and the nanovesicles that it generates are expected to be used in exosome-related research, and can be applied in various applications such as drug delivery and cell-based therapy.