Isolation and Characterization of Amniotic Fluid-Derived Extracellular Vesicles for Biomarker Discovery

  • Blake Ebert
  • Alex J. RaiEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1885)


Amniotic fluid, the fetal-protective liquid that fills the amniotic sac, represents a rich source of biomarkers. The diagnostic utility of amniotic fluid relies on the highly abundant maternal and fetal nucleic acid and proteomic content, which allows for the simultaneous determination of mother and fetal health status. Extracellular vesicles (ECVs) that are released by all cells and found in amniotic fluid could be harnessed to provide substantial clinically actionable data. ECVs are mediators of critical biological functions and reflect the health of the parent cell. Thus, ECVs released from cells in distress may provide important diagnostic information. Here, we describe a straightforward and optimized method for isolating ECVs from amniotic fluid. In addition, we validate our procedure through western blotting using antibodies targeting canonical ECV protein markers and via direct visualization using transmission electron microscopy.

Key words

Amniotic fluid Apoptotic vesicles Exosomes Extracellular vesicles Microvesicles Biomarkers 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pathology and Cell BiologyVagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University Irving Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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