Microfluidic device for on-chip isolation and detection of circulating exosomes in blood of breast cancer patients

exosomes

Tumor-derived circulating exosomes have been recognized as a promising biomarker source for cancer diagnosis via a less invasive procedure. The integration of isolation and detection of exosomes in routine clinical settings is still challenging. In this study, researchers at the Dalian Medical University developed a new microfluidic device for immunomagnetic separation and detection of blood exosomes in situ. The microfluidic device may empower the integration of target exosome analysis via high surface to volume ratios of immunomagnetic beads and highly precise fluid control with the aid of microvalves. The obtained microfluidic device was capable of on-chip isolation and detection of circulating exosomes within 1.5 h. The captured exosomes could be directly visualized with an inverted fluorescence microscope in situ by tetramethylbenzidine-based colorimetric sensing. It was revealed that a statistically significant increase (p < 0.01) in EpCAM-positive exosomes was captured for cancer patients (n = 10) on the device when compared to healthy individuals (n = 10). The device also demonstrated high predicting accuracy for tumor exosomal markers with a sensitivity of 90% and a specificity of >95% using receiver operating characteristic curves. The microfluidic device might provide a new platform to assist cancer diagnosis and molecular classification in an automated and simple fashion.

Chen W, Li H, Su W, Qin J. (2019) Microfluidic device for on-chip isolation and detection of circulating exosomes in blood of breast cancer patients. Biomicrofluidics 13(5):054113. [abstract]

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