Tunable Resistive Pulse Sensing for the Characterization of Extracellular Vesicles

  • Sybren L. N. Maas
  • Marike L. D. Broekman
  • Jeroen de VrijEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1545)


Accurate characterization of extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes and microvesicles, is essential to obtain further knowledge on the biological relevance of EVs. Tunable resistive pulse sensing (tRPS) has shown promise as a method for single particle-based quantification and size profiling of EVs. Here, we describe the technical background of tRPS and its applications for EV characterization. Besides the standard protocol, we describe an alternative protocol, in which samples are spiked with polystyrene beads of known size and concentration. This alternative protocol can be used to overcome some of the challenges of direct EV characterization in biological fluids.

Key words

Extracellular vesicles Exosomes Microvesicles Characterization Quantification Size distribution qNano Resistive pulse sensing 



We thank J. Berenguer (VUmc, Amsterdam, The Netherlands) for providing us with the glioblastoma cell culture supernatant.

This work has been financially supported, in part, by the Dutch Hersenstichting (foundation concerned with diseases of the brain), the Schumacher Kramer Stichting (Foundation), and the T&P Bohnenn foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sybren L. N. Maas
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marike L. D. Broekman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jeroen de Vrij
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity Medical Center UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Brain Center Rudolf MagnusUniversity Medical Center UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of NeurosurgeryErasmus Medical CenterRotterdamThe Netherlands

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