Raman spectroscopy as a quick tool to assess purity of extracellular vesicle preparations and predict their functionality

Alice Gualerzi, Sander Alexander Antonius Kooijmans, Stefania Niada, Silvia Picciolini, Anna Teresa Brini, Giovanni Camussi, Marzia Bedoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) from a variety of stem cell sources are believed to harbour regenerative capacity, which may be exploited for therapeutic purposes. Because of EV interaction with other soluble secreted factors, EV activity may depend on the employed purification method, which limits cross-study comparisons and therapeutic development. Raman spectroscopy (RS) is a quick and easy method to assess EV purity and composition, giving in-depth biochemical overview on EV preparation. Hereby, we show how this method can be used to characterise EVs isolated from human liver stem cells and bone marrow mesenchymal stem/stromal cells by means of conventional ultracentrifugation (UC) and size exclusion chromatography (SEC) protocols. The obtained EV preparations were demonstrated to be characterised by different degrees of purity and a specific Raman fingerprint that represents both the cell source and the isolation procedure used. Moreover, RS provided useful hints to explore the factors underlying the functional diversity of EV preparations from the same cell source, thus representing a valuable tool to assess EV quality prior to functional assays or therapeutic application.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1568780
JournalJournal of Extracellular Vesicles
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 24 2019


  • Extracellular vesicles
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • regenerative medicine
  • size exclusion chromatography
  • stem cell
  • ultracentrifugation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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