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Detecting Exosomes Specifically: A Multiplexed Device Based on Alternating Current Electrohydrodynamic Induced Nanoshearing

Ramanathan Vaidyanathan; Maedeh Naghibosadat; Sakandar Rauf; Darren Korbie; Laura Carrascosa; Muhammad Shiddiky; Matt Trau
Analytical Chemistry, 2014 - 86 (22): 11125–11132

Exosomes show promise as noninvasive biomarkers for cancer, but their effective capture and specific detection is a significant challenge. Herein, we report a multiplexed microfluidic device for highly specific capture and detection of multiple exosome targets using a tunable alternating current electrohydrodynamic (ac-EHD) methodology, referred to as nanoshearing. In our system, electrical body forces generated by ac-EHD act within nanometers of an electrode surface (i.e., within the electrical layer) to generate nanoscaled fluid flow that enhances the specificity of capture and also reduce nonspecific adsorption of weakly bound molecules from the electrode surface. This approach demonstrates the analysis of exosomes derived from cells expressing human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) and prostate specific antigen (PSA), and is also capable of specifically isolating exosomes from breast cancer patient samples. The device also exhibited a 3-fold enhancement in detection sensitivity in comparison to hydrodynamic flow based assays (LOD 2760 exosomes/μL for ac-EHD vs LOD 8300 exosomes/μL for hydrodynamic flow; (n = 3)). We propose this approach can potentially have relevance as a simple and rapid quantification tool to analyze exosome targets in biological applications.

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