A nature-inspired colorimetric and fluorescent dual-modal biosensor for exosomes detection

As non-invasive biomarkers, exosomes are of great significance to diseases diagnosis. However, sensitive and accurate detection of exosomes still remains technical challenges. Inspired by nature’s “one-to-many” concept, researchers from the Fujian Medical University design a biosensor mimicking the cactus with numerous thorns to detect exosomes. The biosensor is composed of CD63 antibodies, resembling the roots of cactus, to capture exosomes, and the exosomes resemble the stems. Cholesterol-labeled DNA (DNA anchor) binding to streptavidin modified horseradish peroxidase (HRP) can insert into exosomes membrane, which seems the thorns. The readout signal is produced through HRP-catalyzed hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) mediated oxidation of 1,4-phenylenediamine (PPD) to form 2,5-diamino-NN′-bis-(p-aminophenyl)-1,4-benzoquinone di-imine (PPDox). The PPDox can quench fluorescence of fluorescein through inner filter effect (IFE), which provides fluorescent signal for exosomes detection. Based on this principle, the obtained exosomes solution is qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed by our biosensor, with the comparison to current standard methods by nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) and commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit. The linear range is from 1.0 × 104 to 5.0 × 105 particles μL−1 with the limit of detection 3.40 × 103 particles μL−1 and 3.12 × 103 particles μL−1 for colorimetric and fluorescent assays, respectively. Meanwhile, this biosensor exhibits good selectivity, and can eliminate the interference from proteins. This dual-modal biosensor shows favorable performance towards analytical application in clinic samples, pushing one step further towards practical clinical use.


Xia Y et al. (2020) A nature-inspired colorimetric and fluorescent dual-modal biosensor for exosomes detection. Talanta 214(1):120851. [abstract]

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