Elaboration of modified membranes for extracellular vesicles isolation and purification by the tangential flow filtration

MARVEL project partner, CNR-ITM, is currently working on the elaboration of a highly selective membrane that will be integrated into the Tangential Flow Filtration (TFF) system in order to isolate and purify the specific EVs subpopulations.

Extracellular vesicles (EV) are cell-derived membranous structures ubiquitously found in all biological fluids that act as signaling vehicles in both physiological or pathological mechanisms. Nowadays, the potential applications of these nanoparticles are attracting increasing interest in the fields of medicine, cosmetics, and nutrition. However, the manufacturing of EVs is currently challenging and is characterized by low yields. In addition to this, the main drawback of the existed size-based EV isolation methods is the presence of a large number of nanoparticles with the same size as small EVs (<200 nm) and of other contaminant molecules after the isolation process.

In the MARVEL project, one of the planned goals is to overcome these challenges through the integration of the modified with the hybrid probes membrane unit into the current Tangential Flow Filtration system. The membrane will be modified with the specific peptide probes which are characterized by a high affinity for clinically relevant EV protein markers.  In particular, the surface of the membrane is functionalized with the highly selective hybrid probes for specific EVs subpopulations isolation. The planned further optimization of the functionalization process will lead to the development of a highly selective membrane without altering the structural properties, which are responsible for the separation process. This system will offer new opportunities in the design, rationalization, and optimization of EVs isolation and purification processes with significant reduction of contaminants.