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Automated On-Line Isolation and Fractionation System for Nanosized Biomacromolecules from Human Plasma

E. Multia, T. Liangsupree, M. Jussila, J. Ruiz-Jimenez, M. Kemell and M. Riekkola

Analytical Chemistry, 2020


An automated on-line isolation and fractionation system including controlling software was developed for selected nanosized biomacromolecules from human plasma by on-line coupled immunoaffinity chromatography asymmetric flow field-flow fractionation (IAC-AsFlFFF). The on-line system was versatile, only different monoclonal antibodies, anti-apolipoprotein B-100, anti-CD9, or anti-CD61, were immobilized on monolithic disk columns for isolation of lipoproteins and extracellular vesicles (EVs). The platelet-derived CD61-positive EVs and CD9-positive EVs, isolated by IAC, were further fractionated by AsFlFFF to their sizebased subpopulations (e.g., exomeres and exosomes) for further analysis. Field-emission scanning electron microscopy elucidated the morphology of the subpopulations, and 20 free amino acids and glucose in EV subpopulations were identified and quantified in the ng/mL range using hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HILIC-MS/MS). The study revealed that there were significant differences between EV origin and size-based subpopulations. The on-line coupled IAC-AsFlFFF system was successfully programmed for reliable execution of 10 sequential isolation and fractionation cycles (37−80 min per cycle) with minimal operator involvement, minimal sample losses, and contamination. The relative standard deviations (RSD) between the cycles for human plasma samples were 0.84−6.6%.