While significant advancements have been made in cancer therapeutics and treatments, early disease detection and diagnosis remains critical to ensuring favorable outcomes for patients. To that end, University of Michigan researchers propose a microfluidic based approach to the sensitive detection of an intriguing cancer biomarker, extracellular vesicles (EVs). This extracellular vesicle on demand (EVOD) chip utilizes a catalyst-free click chemistry to rapidly and specifically isolate EVs of interest. This specific isolation is followed by subsequent dithiothreitol release of the isolated EVs for downstream functional analysis. This joint isolation and release provide a powerful tool for the screening and quantification of EVs of interest. By incorporating antibodies against cancer associated surface proteins into the click-chemistry, the researchers were able to selectively recover cancer-associated exosomes, allowing for important insights into patient disease. This platform was also tested using non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patient samples, where anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) assisted platform were able to selectively isolate and release 76% more exosomes from NSCLC patients than from healthy donors. This matches the previously reported higher EGFR expression commonly found in NSCLC EVs. Through its rapid isolation kinetics and adaptability in marker targeting, the EVOD device provides a highly versatile liquid biopsy platform for clinicians to use in the fight against cancer.
Extracellular vesicles on demand (EVOD) chip for screening and quantification of cancer-associated extracellular vesicles
Kanga YT, Hadlock T, Jolly S, Nagrath S. (2020) Extracellular vesicles on demand (EVOD) chip for screening and quantification of cancer-associated extracellular vesicles. Biosensors and Bioelectronics [online ahead of print]. [abstract]