Microvesicles and exosomes are released to the extracellular milieu and are detectable in body fluids. They act as unique vehicles for cargo transfer to other cells/tissues. They contain a set of membrane receptors, intracellular proteins and nucleic acids. Here, the authors describe basic techniques for their isolation and characterization from cell culture media or body fluids. They also describe critical techniques for characterizing their cargo (miRNAs) and their protein content. Finally, they present labeling methods for their use in in vitro procedures and for their in vivo delivery and subsequent analysis of their cargo transfer to multiple cell types.
Procedure for exosome isolation and characterization techniques. (a) Schematic of exosome isolation. (b) Basic techniques required for the physical characterization and their miRNA and protein cargo