Paper-based preconcentration and isolation of microvesicles and exosomes

Dohwan Lee, Kyung Wook Wee, Hyerin Kim, Sung Il Han, Seungmin Kwak, Dae Sung Yoon, Jeong Hoon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Microvesicles and exosomes are small membranous vesicles released to the extracellular environment and circulated throughout the body. Because they contain various parental cell-derived biomolecules such as DNA, mRNA, miRNA, proteins, and lipids, their enrichment and isolation are critical steps for their exploitation as potential biomarkers for clinical applications. However, conventional isolation methods (e.g., ultracentrifugation) cause significant loss and damage to microvesicles and exosomes. These methods also require multiple repetitive steps of ultracentrifugation, loading, and wasting of reagents. This article describes a detailed method to fabricate an origami-paper-based device (Exo-PAD) designed for the effective enrichment and isolation of microvesicles and exosomes in a simple manner. The unique design of the Exo-PAD, consisting of accordion-like multifolded layers with convergent sample areas, is integrated with the ion concentration polarization technique, thereby enabling fivefold enrichment of the microvesicles and exosomes on specific layers. In addition, the enriched microvesicles and exosomes are isolated by simply unfolding the Exo-PAD.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere61292
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number158
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea, Grant NRF-2018R1D1A1A09084044. J. H. Lee was supported by a research grant from Kwangwoon University in 2019. Hyerin Kim was supported by the “Competency Development Program for Industry Specialists” of the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), operated by the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT) (No. P0002397, HRD program for Industrial Convergence of Wearable Smart Devices).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Journal of Visualized Experiments.


  • Biochemistry
  • Exosome
  • Ion concentration polarization
  • Issue 158
  • Microvesicle
  • Paper-based microfluidics
  • Sample preconcentration
  • Sample preparation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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