Title : Clinical-grade patches as a medium for enrichment of sweat-extracellular vesicles and facilitating their metabolic analysis
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.
Key words to the audience: Secreted extracellular vesicles, Heatwaves, Association, Metabolites and Health parameters