Table 1

Summary of some methods applied for MPs research
Method Quantification Cell origin and/or function identification MPs size distribution Limitations References
Electron microscopy Limited Limited (only for single labeling by immunoelectron microscopy) Yes, but might be subjective due to limited number of measurements Artifacts due to specimen preparation for negative contrast (drying, application of contrasting solution etc.) Hess et al., 1999; Distler et al., 2005; Lima et al., 2009; Witek et al., 2009; Porro et al., 2010; Duarte et al., 2012; Gercel-Taylor et al., 2012
Functional assays (procoagulant activity, thrombin generation tests, ELISA-based tests etc.) Yes (bulk) No No Only information on procoagulant or thrombin generating activity available Leroyer et al., 2007; Tesselaar et al., 2007; Salzer et al., 2008; Manly et al., 2009; Van der Heyde et al., 2011
Atomic Force Microscopy Limited Limited (requires development of AB-coated surfaces) Yes, but might be subjective due to limited number of measurements Artifacts due to abundance of cell debri and plasma protein Salzer et al., 2008; Yuana et al., 2010; Leong et al., 2011; Nantakomol et al., 2012
Light scattering techniques (nanoparticle tracking analysis, submicron particle analysis, dynamic light scattering) Yes No* Yes Artifacts due to abundance of cell debri and plasma protein – samples requires special purification Lawrie et al., 2009; Xu et al., 2010; Gercel-Taylor et al., 2012
Western blotting Semi-quantitative Yes No Requires significant amount of starting material (> 10 μg of vesicular material) Abid Hussein et al., 2005; Salzer et al., 2008; Sander et al., 2008; Bebawy et al., 2009; Bernimoulin et al., 2009; Gercel-Taylor et al., 2012
Mass-spectrometry No Yes, allows identification of multiple proteins No Requires significant amount of starting material Sander et al., 2008; Mayr et al., 2009; Rood et al., 2010
Flow Cytometry Yes Yes, allows identification of multiple antigens Limited Limited; >300 nm particle range (conventional flow cytometry); presence of protein aggregates may lead to artifacts sensitivity depends on cytometer Orozco, Lewis, 2010; Zwicker et al., 2010; Ayers et al., 2011; Yuana et al., 2011; van der Heyde et al., 2011
Flow imaging cytometry Yes Yes, allows quantification of multiple antigens No Limited for bright fluorescence MPs Van der Heyde et al., 2011

*custom modified NTA system allows limited number of fluorescent measurements (Gercel-Taylor et al., 2012).

**References for Table 1 (Additional file 2).

Barteneva et al.

Barteneva et al. BMC Cell Biology 2013 14:23   doi:10.1186/1471-2121-14-23

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