Rapid magnetic isolation of extracellular vesicles via lipid-based nanoprobes

Yuan Wan, Gong Cheng, Xin Liu, Si Jie Hao, Merisa Nisic, Chuan Dong Zhu, Yi Qiu Xia, Wen Qing Li, Zhi Gang Wang, Wen Long Zhang, Shawn J. Rice, Aswathy Sebastian, Istvan Albert, Chandra P. Belani, Si Yang Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Scopus citations


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) can mediate intercellular communication by transferring cargo proteins and nucleic acids between cells. The pathophysiological roles and clinical value of EVs are under intense investigation, yet most studies are limited by technical challenges in the isolation of nanoscale EVs (nEVs). Here, we report a lipid-nanoprobe system that enables spontaneous labelling of nEVs for subsequent magnetic enrichment in 15 minutes, with isolation efficiency and cargo composition similar to what can be achieved by the much slower and bulkier method of ultracentrifugation. We also show that this approach allows for downstream analyses of nucleic acids and proteins, enabling the identification of EGFR and KRAS mutations following nEV isolation from the blood plasma of non-small-cell lung-cancer patients. The efficiency and versatility of the lipid-nanoprobe approach opens up opportunities in point-of-care cancer diagnostics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number0058
JournalNature Biomedical Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 10 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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