Liquid Biopsy –
and Exosome Analysis

Liquid biopsy, including analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTCs), cell free DNA (cfDNA), and exosomes present in the blood can provide a more easily accessible way to obtain information of processes in other areas of the body. This can be especially useful for understanding the status of solid tumors (CTC and circulating tumor DNA analysis) or as a way to understand neurological disease state (neuron-derived exosome analysis). Precision specializes in developing approaches and technologies to maximize the biomarker information available from liquid biopsy samples.

Gain molecular insights from liquid biopsy CTC, cfDNA/RNA, and exosome samples

CTC isolation and analysis

As a tumor grows, cancer cells along the edges of the tumor migrate into the bloodstream and circulate through both the blood and lymphatic system as CTCs (also known as metastasis). These CTCs, present in approximately 1 in 1 billion cells, can continue in circulation, join with other circulating tumor cells or become lodged in outlying tissues to form additional tumors. When captured and concentrated, these CTCs can then be analyzed, providing information about the underlying status of a disease. Significantly, this liquid biopsy process is much less invasive to the patient than a traditional surgical biopsy.

Precision has been a pioneer in liquid biopsy analysis of CTCs using our proprietary ApoStream technology for CTC capture, followed by downstream analysis using technologies including Multiplex IF, FISH, RNA-seq, Nanostring , ddPCR or qPCR.

cfDNA and cfRNA isolation and analysis

Levels of cfDNA become elevated during a number of disease processes including inflammatory conditions and cancer. For cancers, the sequence of the cfDNA can provide insight into cancer type and progression by revealing:

  • Amplifications and deletions
  • Translocations
  • Point mutations
  • Chromosomal abnormalities

Precision can isolate cfDNA and perform NGS on the isolated DNA.

Exosome isolation and analysis

Exosomes are small (30 – 150 nm), membrane-enclosed particles that enclose cargoes of protein, mRNA, miRNA and metabolites, and display surface proteins derived from the parent cell.

Once thought to be the result of aberrant cellular processes, exosomes are increasingly recognized as critical for a number of physiological processes including shaping the tumor microenvironment.

Precision can isolate subpopulations of exosomes based on their surface markers and analyze the miRNA or mRNA cargo using any number of assays.

Neuron-derived exosomes

Neuron-derived exosome (NDE) profiling has emerged as an important tool for translational biomarker research in neurology therapeutic development. NDE profiling, which can be performed using CSF or, less invasively, blood, offers an effective way to examine neuronal physiology and pathophysiology. Isolated NDEs are amenable to standard downstream biochemical assays as well as mass spectrometry for the identification and validation of novel diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive biomarkers.

Multi-platform studies

Precision specializes in combining platform technologies into optimized, complex workflows for detailed analysis of CTCs, cfDNA, and exosomes. Our methodology results in high specificity with superior recovery rates and purity, allowing for the most relevant enriched populations to be further characterized in multiple ways. This multi-platform approach can be especially beneficial in complex development programs, including immuno-oncology, autoimmune, and neurology therapeutic development.

Proven Results

Liquid Biopsy in the Age of Precision Medicine

Developing a comprehensive biomarker strategy for neurology therapeutic development

Choosing the right immune monitoring technology

Global reach, multi-site support

Our liquid biopsy analysis services support pre-clinical and clinical research, including multi-site studies, conducted anywhere in the world.

Our global sample processing and logistical network helps ensure the integrity of samples and the consistency of sample analysis data.

Working with Precision

Precision’s specialty lab scientists take a collaborative and consultative approach to projects and can provide recommendations on biomarker assay strategies.

Services can be provided individually or as part of a comprehensive therapeutic development package including biomarker assays and clinical trials.

Related services

ApoStream® – CTC and Rare Cell Capture For Liquid Biopsy

ApoStream enables antibody-free isolation and concentration of target cells in liquid biopsy samples, enabling analysis of CTCs and other rare and low concentration components using methods like mIF, FISH, and genomic analyses.


With NGS, NanoString, qPCR and ddPCR capabilities, we can add insights from genomic and transcriptomic technologies to your understanding of patient biology.

Multiplex Immunofluorescence

We offer automated multiplex immunofluorescence (mIF) services that enable quantitative visualization of up to 9 markers in tissue and liquid biopsies, and individual cells. mIF can be integrated with other methods including co-analysis using FISH/ISH.

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