Extracellular vesicles (EVs) play an essential role in the transport of diagnostically significant molecules and communication between adjacent and distant cells within the body. Numerous methods for isolation of extracellular vesicles utilizing their biochemical properties have been proposed. A wide diversity of approaches and lack of standard protocols makes data interpretation very challenging.
Scope of review
This review consolidates the comparative data on the classical and state-of-the- art methods for isolation of extracellular vesicles including exosomes, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of each method for isolation of vesicles from biological fluids. Various characteristics of individual methods, including protocol, efficiency of EV isolation, and EV yield, properties of isolated EVs, time and labor consumption, area of application are compared.
A mixed population of vesicles is obtained in most studies of EVs independently of the used isolation methods. A set of requirements to the obtained EVs, the properties of an analyzed sample should be taken into account when planning an experiment aimed at studying and using these vesicles. The problem of adequate methods for isolation of EVs still remains; it might not be possible to develop a universal method for EV isolation but the available standard methods applicable towards solving particular types of problems.
General significance. Since wide use of extracellular vesicles for diagnosis and therapy of various diseases, including tissue- and organ-specific drug delivery, the evaluation of variety existing methods for EV isolation is one of the key problems in modern biology and medicine.
Exosomes; Microvesicles; Extracellular vesicles; Isolation; Purification