Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have clinical importance due to their roles in a wide range of biological processes. The detection and characterization of EVs are challenging because of their small size, low refractive index, and heterogeneity.
In this manuscript, the size distribution of an erythrocyte-derived EV sample is determined using state-of-the-art techniques such as nanoparticle tracking analysis, resistive pulse sensing, and electron microscopy, and novel techniques in the field, such as small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and size exclusion chromatography coupled with dynamic light scattering detection. The mode values of the size distributions of the studied erythrocyte EVs reported by the different methods show only small deviations around 130 nm, but there are differences in the widths of the size distributions.
SAXS is a promising technique with respect to traceability, as this technique was already applied for traceable size determination of solid nanoparticles in suspension. To reach the traceable measurement of EVs, monodisperse and highly concentrated samples are required.