A study from the IVECAT group (led by Geivex founder Dr. Francesc E Borràs) B-ARGO and RCPB groups at IGTP has shown the potential of using an agarose-spot migration assay to analyse the chemoattractant capacity of Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) in vitro. The study has been recently published in BMC Biology.

Increasing evidence suggests that cancer EVs play an important role in the preparation of the pre-metastatic niche (PMN) by recruiting their primary tumour cells. Understanding and measuring the potential of cancer-EVs to induce cell migration and recruitment is essential for cell-free therapeutic approaches and/or for a better knowledge of cancer metastasis. In this context, classical in vitro migration assays do not completely mimic the potential situation by which EVs exert their chemotactic capacity.

The group adapted to EV requirements an agarose spot migration assay to in vitro evaluate the cell recruitment capacity of locally delivered or localized EVs. A multi-parametric analysis, including endpoint migration images and time-lapse videos among others, revealed the specific EV preparations showed differential potential to recruit endothelial cells and to detect an enhanced recruitment capacity of highly metastatic PC3-derived EVs (PC3-EVs) compared to low-metastatic LNCaP-EVs in a tumour cell-specific manner.

The agarose spot migration assay may offer a diversity of measurements and migration settings not provided by classical migration assays, like scratch assays, and reveal its potential use in the EV and cancer metastasis fields. In addition, the EV-adapted agarose spot migration assay is a simple, low-cost, and versatile technique that can be easily adapted to most laboratories.

Congrats to all the authors!

The full article is available at: https://bmcbiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12915-023-01729-5