University of Oulu

Rahat ST, Mäkelä M, Nasserinejad M, Ikäheimo TM, Hyrkäs-Palmu H, Valtonen RIP, Röning J, Sebert S, Nieminen AI, Ali N, et al. Clinical-Grade Patches as a Medium for Enrichment of Sweat-Extracellular Vesicles and Facilitating Their Metabolic Analysis. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2023; 24(8):7507.

Clinical-grade patches as a medium for enrichment of sweat-extracellular vesicles and facilitating their metabolic analysis

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Author: Rahat, Syeda Tayyiba1; Mäkelä, Mira1; Nasserinejad, Maryam2,3;
Organizations: 1Laboratory of Developmental Biology, Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Oulu, 90220 Oulu, Finland
2Research Unit of Population Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, 90570 Oulu, Finland
3Infotech Oulu, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
4Department of Community Medicine, University of Tromsø, N-9037 Tromsø, Norway
5Research Unit of Population Health, University of Oulu, 90220 Oulu, Finland
6Research Unit of Biomedicine, Medical Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, 90220 Oulu, Finland
7Biomimetics and Intelligent Systems Group, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, University of Oulu, 90570 Oulu, Finland
8FIMM Metabolomics Unit, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
9Flagship GeneCellNano, University of Oulu, 90220 Oulu, Finland
10Kvantum Institute, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-09-21


Cell-secreted extracellular vesicles (EVs), carrying components such as RNA, DNA, proteins, and metabolites, serve as candidates for developing non-invasive solutions for monitoring health and disease, owing to their capacity to cross various biological barriers and to become integrated into human sweat. However, the evidence for sweat-associated EVs providing clinically relevant information to use in disease diagnostics has not been reported. Developing cost-effective, easy, and reliable methodologies to investigate EVs’ molecular load and composition in the sweat may help to validate their relevance in clinical diagnosis. We used clinical-grade dressing patches, with the aim being to accumulate, purify and characterize sweat EVs from healthy participants exposed to transient heat. The skin patch-based protocol described in this paper enables the enrichment of sweat EVs that express EV markers, such as CD63. A targeted metabolomics study of the sweat EVs identified 24 components. These are associated with amino acids, glutamate, glutathione, fatty acids, TCA, and glycolysis pathways. Furthermore, as a proof-of-concept, when comparing the metabolites’ levels in sweat EVs isolated from healthy individuals with those of participants with Type 2 diabetes following heat exposure, our findings revealed that the metabolic patterns of sweat EVs may be linked with metabolic changes. Moreover, the concentration of these metabolites may reflect correlations with blood glucose and BMI. Together our data revealed that sweat EVs can be purified using routinely used clinical patches, setting the foundations for larger-scale clinical cohort work. Furthermore, the metabolites identified in sweat EVs also offer a realistic means to identify relevant disease biomarkers. This study thus provides a proof-of-concept towards a novel methodology that will focus on the use of the sweat EVs and their metabolites as a non-invasive approach, in order to monitor wellbeing and changes in diseases.

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Series: International journal of molecular sciences
ISSN: 1661-6596
ISSN-E: 1422-0067
ISSN-L: 1661-6596
Volume: 24
Issue: 8
Article number: 7507
DOI: 10.3390/ijms24087507
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1182 Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology
Funding: This work was supported by the Finnish Research Impact Foundation Tandem Industry Academia grant number 105 (N.A.), the European Regional Development Fund project PrintoDise number 307319 (S.V.), the Infotech Oulu institute projects (2022–2025) (N.A. and S.V.), and the Academy of Finland Flagship GeneCellNano number 337431 (S.V. and N.A.). This work was supported by the Juha Vainio Foundation, Yriö Jahnsson Foundation (TI). The FIMM Metabolomics Unit was supported by HiLIFE and Biocenter Finland.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 337431
Detailed Information: 337431 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (