Imaging of Isolated Exosomes by Correlative Microscopy

Demir Ş., Erdal E., Bagriyanik H. A.

Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1369/00221554241233346
  • Journal Name: Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, Chemical Abstracts Core
  • Keywords: confocal microscopy, correlative microscopy, electron microscopy, exosome, imaging
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Correlative microscopy is a sophisticated imaging technique that combines optical and electron microscopes, with the most common approach being the integration of light microscopy and electron microscopy, known as correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM). While CLEM provides a comprehensive view of biological samples, it presents a significant challenge in sample preparation due to the distinct processes involved in each technique. Striking a balance between these methods is crucial. Despite numerous approaches, achieving seamless imaging with CLEM remains a complex task. Exosomes, nanovesicles ranging from 30 to 150 nm in size, are enclosed by a lipid bilayer and released by various cell types. Visualizing exosomes poses difficulties due to their small size and minimal electric charge. However, imaging exosomes at high resolution offers a direct method to understand their morphology and functions. In this study, we evaluated exosome imaging with CLEM using a combination of confocal, transmission electron microscope, and scanning electron microscope (SEM). In addition, we conducted a comparative analysis of these two techniques, evaluating their suitability and efficiency in imaging nanoscale structures. In this study, we found that confocal-SEM correlation is more applicable for imaging exosomes. Moreover, we observed that exosomes were found in clusters in confocal-SEM correlation.