Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have emerged as a rich source of biomarkers providing diagnostic and prognostic information in diseases such as cancer. Large-scale investigations into the contents of EVs in clinical cohorts are warranted, but a major obstacle is the lack of a rapid, reproducible, efficient, and low-cost methodology to enrich EVs. Here, we demonstrate the applicability of an automated acoustic-based technique to enrich EVs, termed acoustic trapping. Using this technology, we have successfully enriched EVs from cell culture conditioned media and urine and blood plasma from healthy volunteers. The acoustically trapped samples contained EVs ranging from exosomes to microvesicles in size and contained detectable levels of intravesicular microRNAs. Importantly, this method showed high reproducibility and yielded sufficient quantities of vesicles for downstream analysis. The enrichment could be obtained from a sample volume of 300 μL or less, an equivalent to 30 min of enrichment time, depending on the sensitivity of downstream analysis. Taken together, acoustic trapping provides a rapid, automated, low-volume compatible, and robust method to enrich EVs from biofluids. Thus, it may serve as a novel tool for EV enrichment from large number of samples in a clinical setting with minimum sample preparation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8011-8019
Number of pages9
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Medicinal Chemistry


  • Acoustics
  • Cell Fractionation/instrumentation
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Exosomes/metabolism
  • Extracellular Vesicles/metabolism
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs/genetics
  • Plasma/cytology
  • Urine/cytology


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