Propel research of extracellular vesicles with nanoparticle tracking analysis from NanoSight Pro

3D render of extracellular vesicles

Initially thought to be cellular waste, extracellular vesicles (EVs) were long dismissed as unimportant. But things have changed.

Research has unveiled the crucial role of EVs in intercellular communication, as well as their immense potential in helping to understand, diagnose and treat a wealth of diseases — from cancers to cardiovascular conditions.

Extracellular vesicles and the characterization challenge

“Extracellular vesicles” is a general term referring to membrane-bound particles secreted by cells into the extracellular environment. Small EVs are naturally secreted from cells when intracellular multivesicular bodies fuse with the plasma membrane.

While accurately characterizing EV preparations yields essential information for understanding biological function and diagnosing conditions, it can be a complex endeavor. In fact, characterizing EVs often demands a multi-technology approach.

Nanoparticle tracking analysis: A vital tool for extracellular vesicle characterization

Nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) has emerged as a key technology to help rapidly analyze EV size and concentration, with high resolution.

NTA instruments, such as the NanoSight Pro, use lasers to illuminate particles, capturing light scattering through an optical microscope configuration including integrated digital camera. Powered by machine learning algorithms, NanoSight Pro identifies and tracks particles’ Brownian motion, which is used to determine the particles’ hydrodynamic diameter. EVs concentration is simply derived from the particle count.

The NanoSight Pro also has fluorescence capabilities, providing deeper insights into samples, and enabling analysts to distinguish between EVs subpopulations. Armed with this ability, end-users can assess sample purification efficiency and confirm the presence of specific biomarkers or even the EVs’ cargo .

So, how can you make the most of fluorescence NTA in your extracellular vesicles research?

Unlock deeper understanding with fluorescence labeling and NTA

In our latest white paper, ‘Unlocking Insights: Mastering Extracellular Vesicle Fluorescence Labeling and Analysis with NanoSight Pro,’ we highlight what’s possible with fluorescence NTA, sharing methods and best practices for fluorescence labeling and detecting EVs, along with detailed examples of successful implementation.

More specifically, our experts show you how to:

  1. Confirm and quantify the presence of extracellular vesicles using different fluorescent dyes:

Fluorescent membrane dyes are effective at tagging EVs, since they incorporate into the lipid bilayer in high volumes. Membrane labelling with fluorescent dyes is a common first step in confirming the presence of EVs.

  • Effectively detect tetraspanins:

Tetraspanins are trans-membrane proteins involved in various aspects of EVs biology, including biogenesis, cargo sorting, and interaction with recipient cells. Since they occur in abundance on the surface of many EVs subsets, they’re among the most accessible biomarkers in EVs research.

  • Characterize RNA cargo without destroying small EVs:

Detecting RNA within extracellular vesicles using this approach offers valuable insights into EVs’ diagnostic potential and encapsulation success for therapeutic applications. Assessing RNA cargo also enhances our understanding of EVs’ functional roles

  • Use NanoSight Pro for comprehensive fluorescence measurement and analysis: Offering the choice of four laser wavelengths and selection of fluorescent long-pass filters, NanoSight Pro fluorescence analysis enables you to work with variety of labels available on the market to target your Evs effectively.

Download the free white paper today, and discover how fluorescent labelling and analysis with the NanoSight Pro can aid EVs characterization, giving you the insights you need to advance your research and getting a step closer to knowing your extracellular vesicles better!