Dr. Shona Pedersen together with Professor Søren Risom and their team are studying how EVs potentially contribute to a wide range of physiological and pathological processes in the human body such as coagulation and thrombogenesis. While showing promising potential as biomarkers and therapeutic targets, the diversity, size and composition of EV as well as their susceptibility to be affected by pre-analytical handling are a major challenge for the standardization of measurements and this complicates data interpretation.
Given the difficulties with phenotyping EVs, the qNano provides for a platform for accurate and reproducible results. The qNano uses Tunable Resistive Pulse Sensing (TRPS) to give insights not possible with other sizing methods, which can give misleading and inaccurate results. Precise particle size, concentration and charge measurements are essential to this project when assessing EV behaviour. Dr Pederson’s team are using the qNano to develop a method capable of extracting particle type information. They are establishing preliminary reference intervals for plasmatic EV and are examining the zeta potential upon binding to various aptamers and tissue factors for both normal and pathological samples. The impact of various pre-analytical variables including sample dilution, freezing, day to day variation and fasting vs. non-fasting healthy subjects have been evaluated on plasma samples.
This team have used Izon Science’s qNano to characterise EVs for over 3 years and have worked with Izon Science to develop protocols to ensure the validity of their work. Recent developments in the coatings used on the nanopores, improvements in the software and the ability to use larger apertures have made TRPS easier to use and will deliver major benefits in future work. The qNano has allowed the group to measure the charge, size and concentration of the particles in the subset of interest and understand how they are altered in different situations; the qNano can detect the change in the zeta potential for healthy vs Mulitple Myeloma patients after binding to tissue factors. The qNano is uniquely placed because it uses TRPS to deliver data that would not be reliable from other techniques and has the advantage of greater accuracy, resolution and speed.