Researchers Develop New, Scalable Method to Purify Exosomes from Cow’s Milk; Advance May Smooth Path to Clinical Utility

Exosomes are nano-sized biological capsules that cells produce to protect and deliver delicate molecules throughout the body(among other functions). The capsules are hardy enough to withstand enzymatic breakdown, as well as acidic and temperature fluctuations in the gut and bloodstream, making them a promising candidate for drug delivery. Harvesting exosomes to achieve clinical-grade levels of purity, however, is a complex process. “Exosomes are abundant in cow’s milk, yet they’re difficult to isolate from other milk proteins and lipids,” said Rob Gourdie, PhD, Professor and Director of the Center for Vascular and Heart Research at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC (Virginia Tech). Dr. Gourdie’s laboratory has developed a scalable method to harvest exosomes from unpasteurized cow’s milk. Using this purification method, which was published recently in Nanotheranostics, the research team can extract roughly a cup of purified exosomes for every gallon of unpasteurized milk. The open-access article is titled “Novel Protocols for Scalable Production of High Quality Purified Small Extracellular Vesicles from Bovine Milk.”

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