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Continuing advances in the EV field and the discovery of new types of nanosized particles (e.g. exomeres), has lead to researchers wanting more specific and precise EV isolation methods. As part of this process Izon has broadened the qEV platform to make available two different size separation ranges for the SEC columns. The new qEV35 range is targeted at separating particles down to 35nm. The existing qEV range, now referred to as qEV70 is targeted at EVs above 70nm. The crossover for optimum efficiency is at 110nm.
If you are primarily interested in exosomes, then the qEV35 range will be a welcome addition to your portfolio. The valuable information in the sub 70nm range can now be easily harvested. You may also be interested in doing comparative analyses of your samples on both column options to assess which size bands critical components are in. Particle size clearly affects EV function so the ability to differentiate size ranges is likely to be very useful.
The qEV35 range is suitable for EVs in the size range 35-350nm. The qEV70 range is targeted at 70-1000nm. Outside of those ranges the efficiencies are likely to be too low. In the lower size range, when plasma or serum are used, the size of the larger lipoproteins will likely overlap with the smaller EVs, which is something you need to be aware of. Several researchers have been testing the qEV35 range with Western Blots, Mass Spectrometry and RNA analysis with good results.
There are presently 4 different qEV sizes with nominal sample volumes of 0.125mL, 0.5mL, 2.0mL and 10mL. Two additional sizes are in development. The aim is to enable you as a researcher to choose the most precise and efficient isolation method. The needs of pure research, diagnostics development and therapeutics development are all somewhat different so each requires a tailored solution. The qEV10 for instance is targeted at the larger volumes from cell cultures used for therapeutic development. A 100mL column (qEV100) for production scale isolation of EV based therapeutics is in development and testing.
Standardization of techniques is essential if all of the extensive EV research being done is to be translated into routine clinical use. None of the other EV isolation methods easily lend themselves to either standardization or scalability in the way that the qEV platform does. The current manual process for isolation with qEVs is not that scalable either but a dramatic change in methodology is on its way.
A new Automatic Fraction Collector, with the acronym AFC, has been developed and is being tested with a range of research groups. This is expected to become a standard tool in every EV lab. It will further improve repeatability of EV isolation and save you the time required to manually observe the fractions. The scalability problem will have gone away.