Theranostics 2017; 7(3):789-804. doi:10.7150/thno.18133


Progress in Exosome Isolation Techniques

Pin Li1✉, Melisa Kaslan2, Sze Han Lee3, Justin Yao3, Zhiqiang Gao2✉

1. Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798.
2. Department of Chemistry, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117543.
3. Department of Pharmacy, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117543.


Exosomes are one type of membrane vesicles secreted into extracellular space by most types of cells. In addition to performing many biological functions particularly in cell-cell communication, cumulative evidence has suggested that several biological entities in exosomes like proteins and microRNAs are closely associated with the pathogenesis of most human malignancies and they may serve as invaluable biomarkers for disease diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy. This provides a commanding impetus and growing demands for simple, efficient, and affordable techniques to isolate exosomes. Capitalizing on the physicochemical and biochemical properties of exosomes, a number of techniques have been developed for the isolation of exosomes. This article summarizes the advances in exosome isolation techniques with an emphasis on their isolation mechanism, performance, challenges, and prospects. We hope that this article will provide an overview of exosome isolation techniques, opening up new perspectives towards the development more innovative strategies and devices for more time saving, cost effective, and efficient isolations of exosomes from a wide range of biological matrices.

Keywords: Exosome, isolation

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How to cite this article:
Li P, Kaslan M, Lee SH, Yao J, Gao Z. Progress in Exosome Isolation Techniques. Theranostics 2017; 7(3):789-804. doi:10.7150/thno.18133. Available from