Science News

New method will allow using exosomes as biomarkers for diseases

A new method that maps the proteins on the surface of a large number of individual exosomes has been developed by a group of researchers from the University of Uppsala and the company Vesicode AB.

The exosomes, compounds present both in the nucleus and in the cytoplasm of the cell, are released by all the cells of the body and are able to transfer proteins and nucleic acids of cells into cells allowing a sort of intercellular communication. They can be considered as excellent biomarkers for the progression of various diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases or cancer.

To use them as biomarkers, however, it is necessary to distinguish them on the basis of the protected surface complements they contain. However, it has always been difficult to identify specific exosomes and the tissue region from which they originate.

The new method, called proximity-dependent barcoding assay (PBA), allows the detection of the surface protein composition of individual exosomes using new-generation DNA sequencing techniques.

Di Wu, researcher and inventor of this technology and founder of the same Vesicode AB, comments on this new method: “This technology will not only benefit researchers who study exosomes, but will also allow the discovery of high-performance biomarkers. We will further develop and validate the PBA technology and provide assistance to researchers starting this year. We believe that the analysis of the single exosome will allow this exciting class of biomarkers to reach its full potential.”