NanoSomiX Technology Overview

Comprehensive brain-derived exosomes (BDE) isolation and characterization


Exosomes are present in a variety of biological fluids, including blood, saliva, ascites, intestinal luminal fluids, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and urine. While originally thought to be solely a method for cells to discard waste, more recent research indicates that they represent a unique cell-to-cell communication mechanism. As part of their formation, they incorporate portions of the cell membrane along with cytoplasmic constituents from inside the cell of origin. Exosomes and microvesicles range in size from ~50 to 400 nanometers and are released into the blood from many cell types. BDE are selectively captured by NanoSomiX proprietary technology using antibodies against brain cell-specific transmembrane proteins.

NanoSomiX technology platform

NanoSomiX has achieved significant advancements in isolating plasma-borne BDEs and assessing associated clinically relevant biomarkers. Our BDE technology originated with the immunoisolation of CD171+ neuron-derived exosomes from human plasma as published by Dr. Ed Goetzl with the first patent issued for this groundbreaking work in 2018.

We have since expanded the original assay technology to include a 3-dimensional approach with multiple other patents issued and pending:

  • The first dimension is expanding our BDE cell sources from neurons to now include astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. We further enhanced neuron derived exosome capture to include neurotransmitter specific pre- and post-synaptic neurons including dopaminergic and serotonergic neurons.
  • The second dimension is the ability to analyze surface-associated proteins and core/cargo proteins of exosomes separately. This scientific enhancement is extremely important in helping to improve on the selection and characterization of BDE biomarker proteins. Based on exosome generation, biomarkers located in the core/cargo of the exosome are mother cell-specific whereas surface membrane biomarkers can be both intrinsic membrane markers or markers picked up from the local environment either non-specifically or by binding to receptors on the BDE membrane. Large quantities of surface adherent biomarkers can often mask or be misleading when analyzing exosomes with some methods.
  • The third dimension is development of a means to measure plasma levels of BDE using a sandwich immunoassay incorporating 2 distinct antibodies, one a brain cell-specific target and one to a common exosome transmembrane target.

These 3 analytical dimensions can work synergistically to identify appropriate biomarkers quickly and efficiently. In addition, our research has shown that exosome quantities in plasma vary substantially from individual to individual, and therefore the 3rd dimension (plasma levels of BDE) becomes a normalization method to analyze each target biomarker result. Interestingly, plasma levels of NDE are extremely stable over time in a single individual, but can dramatically change after traumatic events. Moreover, the assay is so sensitive that subclinical changes are also seen in sport athletes after head impacts.

These innovations provide a means to drive clinically relevant biomarker discovery and assessment using blood or other biological fluids.

Collaborative Research

NanoSomiX is currently focused on clinical target discovery and validation using the above-described technology platforms through various collaborations with academia and industry. The clinical areas currently targeted include post-operative delirium and cognitive decline, traumatic brain injuries including sport concussion, and stroke. We operate in a regulated CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) laboratory. Therefore, laboratory validation of exosome biomarkers is available for research studies or specific markers, which may be transitioned to a formal Laboratory Developed Test (LDT) in a timely fashion if desired. Moreover, because these assays are all based on automation-friendly formats, they are applicable to high throughput test development.

We are very interested in developing assays for parties that have specific biomarkers or clinical samples they are pursuing where BDE may be considered. Our development team will work closely with you to identify the best approach to measuring your BDE biomarkers. Below are examples of areas where we may be able to make an impact in your research and product development:

For pharmaceutical companies:

  • BDE-based therapeutic monitoring assays in clinical samples or animal models in support of R&D.

For academia:

  • Target biomarker discovery for various neurologic disorders where BDE may be applicable and provide important research information.