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Dr Anita Böing presents recent advances in SEC column separation of EVs at 2015 Izon Science Research Symposium
The Department of Clinical Chemistry, Academic Medical Centre (AMC) of the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, has a team led by Dr Rienk Nieuwland who are studying the detection and function of extracellular vesicles and platelets in health and disease.
Dr Anita Böing, a researcher at AMC, presented a talk titled, ‘Isolation of extracellular vesicles by size-exclusion chromatography,’ at the 2015 Izon Science Research Symposium in Oxford, UK. The presentation highlighted the advances in the separation of extracellular vesicles from plasma using Size-Exclusion Chromatography (SEC). SEC is rapidly becoming the most reliable and preferred method of separation of vesicles. Plasma contains proteins and lipoproteins which present major challenges in the isolation of extracellular vesicles. The research group at AMC, together with the Research Centre for Natural Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Science, rediscovered the usefulness of SEC columns to isolate vesicles from body fluids including plasma during the METVES project. Most importantly, SEC results in high recovery without losses of vesicle subpopulations, almost complete removal of soluble proteins, and preserves the biological functions of the vesicles.
Methods of vesicle isolation like ultracentrifugation with or without density gradients, or precipitation kits give rise to issues like protein aggregation and loss of vesicle activity. However, with SEC, the matrix in the column allows isolation of vesicles under physiological conditions, efficiently removing of proteins and lipoprotein particles < 70 nm. Analysis of extracellular vesicles from plasma or serum after the use of an SEC column is more accurate and allows for the standardisation of separation and measurement.
In collaboration with the team at AMC, Izon Science has developed standardized SEC columns known as ‘qEV’. qEVs facilitate a quick and easy method of EV sample preparation. Other benefits include gentle purification and its ability to keep the sample in the desired buffer. Since early 2015, qEV columns have been used in approximately 200 laboratories across the world.