Dielectrophoresis (DEP) refers to a type of electrical motion of dielectric particles. Because DEP is caused by particle polarization, it has been utilized to characterize particles. This study investigated the DEP of three types of exosomes, namely bovine milk, human breast milk, and human breast cancer exosomes. Exosomes are kinds of extracellular vesicles. The crossover frequencies of the exosomes were determined by direct observation of their DEPs. Consequently, bovine and human milk exosomes showed similar DEP properties, whereas the cancer exosomes were significantly different from the others. The membrane capacitance and conductivity of the exosomes were estimated using determined values. A significant difference was observed between bovine and human milk exosomes on their membrane capacitance. It was revealed that the membrane capacitances of human breast milk and human breast cancer exosomes were almost identical to those of their host cells and the conductivity of the exosomes were much lower than that of the host cell. Based on these results, DEP separation of the human breast milk and cancer exosomes was demonstrated. These results imply that DEP can be utilized to separate and identify cancer exosomes rapidly. Additionally, our method can be utilized to estimate the electric property of other types of extracellular vesicles.
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