Nano-Micro Letters

Rapid Isolation and Multiplexed Detection of Exosome Tumor Markers via Queued Beads Combined with Quantum Dots in a Microarray

Yanan Bai1, 2, Yunxing Lu1, 2, Kun Wang1, 2, Zule Cheng1, 2, Youlan Qu1, 3, shihui Qiu1, Lin Zhou1, Zhenhua Wu1, Jianlong Zhao1, *, Hongju Mao1, *

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Nano-Micro Lett. (2019) 11: 59

First Online: 16 July 2019 (Article)


*Corresponding author. E-mail: hjmao@mail.sim.ac.cn (Hongju Mao); jlzhao@mail.sim.ac.cn (Jianlong Zhao)





Tumor-derived exosomes are actively involved in cancer progression and metastasis and have emerged as a promising marker for cancer diagnosis in liquid biopsy. Because of their nanoscale size, complex biogenesis, and methodological limitations related to exosome isolation and detection, advancements in their analysis remain slow. Microfluidic technology offers a better analytic approach compared with conventional methods. Here, we developed a bead-based microarray for exosome isolation and multiplexed tumor marker detection. Using this method, exosomes are isolated by binding to antibodies on the bead surface, and tumor markers on the exosomes are detected through quantum dot (QD) probes. The beads are then uniformly trapped and queued among micropillars in the chip. This design benefits fluorescence observation by dispersing the signals into every single bead, thereby avoiding optical interference and enabling more accurate test results. We analyzed exosomes in the cell culture supernatant of lung cancer and endothelial cell lines, different lung cancer markers labelled with three QD probes were used to conduct multiplexed detection of exosome surface protein markers. Lung cancer-derived samples showed much higher (~6–10-fold) fluorescence intensity than endothelial cell samples, and different types of lung cancer samples showed distinctive marker expression levels. Additionally, using the chip to detect clinical plasma samples from cancer patients showed good diagnostic power and revealed a well consistency with conventional tests for serological markers. These results provide insight into a promising method for exosome tumor marker detection and early stage cancer diagnosis.



Exosome; Liquid biopsy; Quantum dot; Multiplexed detection; Cancer diagnosis

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