Engineering a tunable micropattern-array assay to sort single extracellular vesicles and particles to detect RNA and protein in situ

Jingjing Zhang, Xilal Y. Rima, Xinyu Wang, Luong T.H. Nguyen, Kristin Huntoon, Yifan Ma, Paola Loreto Palacio, Kim Truc Nguyen, Karunya Albert, Minh Dao Duong-Thi, Nicole Walters, Kwang Joo Kwak, Min Jin Yoon, Hong Li, Jacob Doon-Ralls, Colin L. Hisey, Daeyong Lee, Yifan Wang, Jonghoon Ha, Kelsey ScherlerShannon Fallen, Inyoul Lee, Andre F. Palmer, Wen Jiang, Setty M. Magaña, Kai Wang, Betty Y.S. Kim, L. James Lee, Eduardo Reátegui*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The molecular heterogeneity of extracellular vesicles (EVs) and the co-isolation of physically similar particles, such as lipoproteins (LPs), confounds and limits the sensitivity of EV bulk biomarker characterization. Herein, we present a single-EV and particle (siEVP) protein and RNA assay (siEVPPRA) to simultaneously detect mRNAs, miRNAs, and proteins in subpopulations of EVs and LPs. The siEVPPRA immobilizes and sorts particles via positive immunoselection onto micropatterns and focuses biomolecular signals in situ. By detecting EVPs at a single-particle resolution, the siEVPPRA outperformed the sensitivities of bulk-analysis benchmark assays for RNA and protein. To assess the specificity of RNA detection in complex biofluids, EVs from various glioma cell lines were processed with small RNA sequencing, whereby two mRNAs and two miRNAs associated with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) were chosen for cross-validation. Despite the presence of single-EV-LP co-isolates in serum, the siEVPPRA detected GBM-associated vesicular RNA profiles in GBM patient siEVPs. The siEVPPRA effectively examines intravesicular, intervesicular, and interparticle heterogeneity with diagnostic promise.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12369
JournalJournal of Extracellular Vesicles
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2023


  • extracellular RNA
  • glioblastoma multiforme
  • heterogeneity
  • multiparametric
  • single extracellular vesicle
  • single lipoprotein


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