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  • P-ISSN 2233-4203
  • E-ISSN 2093-8950

MALDI-MS: A Powerful but Underutilized Mass Spectrometric Technique for Exosome Research

Mass Spectrometry Letters / Mass Spectrometry Letters, (P)2233-4203; (E)2093-8950
2021, v.12 no.3, pp.93-105
Jalaludin Iqbal (Chungnam National University)
Lubman David M. (University of Michigan Medical Center)
Kim Jeongkwon (Chungnam National University)
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Exosomes have gained the attention of the scientific community because of their role in facilitating intercellular communi-cation, which is critical in disease monitoring and drug delivery research. Exosome research has grown significantly in recent decades, with a focus on the development of various technologies for isolating and characterizing exosomes. Among these efforts is the use of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry (MS), which offers high-throughput direct analysis while also being cost and time effective. MALDI is used less frequently in exosome research than electrospray ionization due to the diverse popu- lation of extracellular vesicles and the impurity of isolated products, both of which necessitate chromatographic separation prior to MS analysis. However, MALDI-MS is a more appropriate instrument for the analytical approach to patient therapy, given it allows for fast and label-free analysis. There is a huge drive to explore MALDI-MS in exosome research because the technology holds great potential, most notably in biomarker discovery. With methods such as fingerprint analysis, OMICs profiling, and statistical analysis, the search for biomarkers could be much more efficient. In this review, we highlight the potential of MALDI-MS as a tool for investigating exo-somes and some of the possible strategies that can be implemented based on prior research.

MALDI, Mass Spectrometry, Exosomes, Extracellular Vesicles

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Mass Spectrometry Letters