Elucidating Methods for Isolation and Quantification of Exosomes: A Review

Talitha Keren Kurian, Soumyabrata Banik, Dharshini Gopal, Shweta Chakrabarti, Nirmal Mazumder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


Exosomes are the smallest extracellular vesicles present in most of the biological fluids. They are found to play an important role in cell signaling, immune response, tumor metastasis, etc. Studies have shown that these vesicles also have diagnostic and therapeutic roles for which their accurate detection and quantification is essential. Due to the complexity in size and structure of exosomes, even the gold standard methods face challenges. This comprehensive review discusses the various standard methods such as ultracentrifugation, ultrafiltration, size-exclusion chromatography, precipitation, immunoaffinity, and microfluidic technologies for the isolation of exosomes. The principle of isolation of each method is described, as well as their specific advantages and disadvantages. Quantification of exosomes by nanoparticle tracking analysis, flow cytometry, tunable resistive pulse sensing, electron microscopy, dynamic light scattering, and microfluidic devices are also described, along with the applications of exosomes in various biomedical domains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-266
Number of pages18
JournalMolecular Biotechnology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 04-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology


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