Size and shape characterization of hydrated and desiccated exosomes

Vasiliy S. Chernyshev, Rakesh Rachamadugu, Yen Hsun Tseng, David M. Belnap, Yunlu Jia, Kyle J. Branch, Anthony E. Butterfield, Leonard F. Pease, Philip S. Bernard, Mikhail Skliar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)


Exosomes are stable nanovesicles secreted by cells into the circulation. Their reported sizes differ substantially, which likely reflects the difference in the isolation techniques used, the cells that secreted them, and the methods used in their characterization. We analyzed the influence of the last factor on the measured sizes and shapes of hydrated and desiccated exosomes isolated from the serum of a pancreatic cancer patient and a healthy control. We found that hydrated exosomes are close-to-spherical nanoparticles with a hydrodynamic radius that is substantially larger than the geometric size. For desiccated exosomes, we found that the desiccated shape and sizing are influenced by the manner in which drying occurred. Isotropic desiccation in aerosol preserves the near-spherical shape of the exosomes, whereas drying on a surface likely distorts their shapes and influences the sizing results obtained by techniques that require surface fixation prior to analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3285-3301
Number of pages17
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Hydrated and desiccated exosomes
  • Size and shape characterization


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