Nanocharacterization of Exosomes

J. Gimzewski
University of California, Los Angeles,
United States

Keywords: exosomes, nanocharacterization, AFM


Cell communication over large or small distances has only recently become recognized through research into nanometer-sized exosomes, also called Extracellular vesicles [EVs]. They are found to facilitate cell communication and send signals to distant cells throughout the body. Mounting evidence indicates that programmed/triggered secretion and targeted migration of exosomes to distant cells is a fundamental aspect of cell biology that is ubiquitous in diseased and normal cells. This talk concerns our work using Atomic force microscopy [AFM], which has emerged as a successful method for studying the morphology, size, and phenotype of exosomes. We will show how AFM enables imaging of isolated vesicles under physiological buffers to achieve nanoscale morphology, size, and exosome count information for populations and subpopulations. Using either functionalized nanobeads or a functional probe tip [single molecule force spectroscopy [SMFS], AFM enables complementary phenotyping of exosome subpopulations at the single-vesicle level. Advanced AFM methods such as peak-force mapping enable simultaneous evaluation of 3D morphology and physicochemical properties [elasticity and adhesion] of the nanoparticles at sub-nm resolution with pico-Newton [pN] sensitivity. Topical Review: “Ascent of atomic force microscopy as a nanoanalytical tool for exosomes and other extracellular vesicles” S Sharma, M LeClaire & J K Gimzewski Nanotechnology, Volume 29, (13) 132001 2018