<p><strong>Introducing</strong>: Discovery Kit™: dSTORM in Cells. <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Learn More</span></p>

Introducing: Discovery Kit™: dSTORM in Cells. Learn More

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EV imaging series: Super resolving the cargo of Extracellular Vesicles

Welcome back to the second instalment of our EV imaging series!

Last time, we introduced single-molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) as a characterization tool for single-EV analysis with an example of how you might apply these powerful imaging techniques for visualizing the heterogeneity of your population of EVs. In case you missed it, you can find our introductory app note here

Luckily for us, SMLM techniques are not only limited to detecting proteins on the membrane surface of EVs, but can also be used to visualize and characterize the molecular cargo of vesicles, whether it be protein cargo or nucleic acid species including DNA, mRNA and miRNA. As EV cargo is believed to be directly linked to the phenotypic effect it induces at its target destination, the ability to detect and visualize molecular cargo in high-resolution provides important mechanistic insight. For those of you interested in engineered EVs for therapeutic applications, these techniques are also very relevant for performing quality control checks and quantifying cargo across EV preparations.

In today’s application note, we take you through a specific example where SMLM imaging was used to detect and quantify EV-associated DNA, in collaboration with Dr. Franz Ricklefs from UMC Hamburg. The super-resolution techniques demonstrated here nicely complement the non-imaging based techniques used by Dr. Ricklef’s lab to better understand EV functionality and their role in tumor progression. 

As always, you can help us out by sharing this article on social media and helping to spread the knowledge. If you haven’t already done so, check out our EV hub that has additional resources that we hope will inspire you to think of the potential applications of super-resolution microscopy to your own research.

Thanks for reading, and we look forward to seeing you back here for the next instalment. If you have any questions or suggestions, or would like to get in touch about your research, please don’t hesitate to contact us (hi@oni.bio).


In this application note we discuss how characterization of sub-populations of EVs possessing one or more biomarkers enables:

• Distinction of luminal or surface molecules

• Association unique molecular signatures to EVs 

• Investigation of the function of DNA on the EV surface

• Understanding the unique role of EV subtypes in diseases