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A urinary extracellular vesicle microRNA biomarker discovery pipeline

From automated extracellular vesicle enrichment by acoustic trapping to microRNA sequencing

Illustration of acoustic trapping procedure and experimental workflow. a) The acoustic trapping was performed in a 1) boroscilicate glass capillary, 2) ultransonic wave (dashed grey line) is generated by an ultrasonic transducer while seeding particles (yellow spheres) are aspirated (black arrow) and trapped in the glass capillary, 3) the EVs in the samples are captured by secondary acoustic forces reflected off seeding particles (magnified view below), 4) washing of the EVs and seeding clusters, and 5) release of EVs and seeding particle. b) Healthy human urine was collected and processed by centrifugation.  
Development of a robust automated platform for enrichment of extracellular vesicles from low sample volume that matches the needs for next-generation sequencing could remove major hurdles for genomic biomarker discovery. Here, we document a protocol for urinary EVs enrichment by utilizing an automated microfluidic system, termed acoustic trap, followed by next-generation sequencing of microRNAs (miRNAs) for biomarker discovery. Specifically, we compared the sequencing output from two small RNA library preparations, NEXTFlex and CATS, using only 130 pg of input total RNA. The samples prepared using NEXTflex was found to contain larger number of unique miRNAs that was the predominant RNA species whereas rRNA was the dominant RNA species in CATS prepared samples. A strong correlation was found between the miRNA expressions of the acoustic trap technical replicate in the NEXTFlex prepared samples, as well as between the acoustic trap and ultracentrifugation enrichment methods. Together, these results demonstrate a robust and automated strategy for biomarker discovery from small volumes of urine.

Published: May 29, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0217507 (Open Access)

Citation: Ku A, Ravi N, Yang M, Evander M, Laurell T, Lilja H, et al. (2019) A urinary extracellular vesicle microRNA biomarker discovery pipeline; from automated extracellular vesicle enrichment by acoustic trapping to microRNA sequencing. PLoS ONE 14(5): e0217507. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0217507

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