Tumor-derived extracellular vesicles have emerged as an alternative source of cancer biomarkers in liquid biopsies. Despite their clinical potential, traditional methods for isolation and analysis have hampered their translation into the clinic. The use of nanomaterial-based biosensors can speed up the development of analytical methods for quantifying extracellular vesicles in a specific, highly reproducible, robust, fast and inexpensive way. Researchers from the University of Zaragoza discuss the utility of extracellular vesicles as a novel type of liquid biopsies and the recent advances in nanoparticle-based biosensors for their analysis. They aim to emphasise the limitations and challenges that hinder extracellular vesicle analysis using these biosensors and point out potential solutions.
Different SERS-based biosensors for the detection of exosomes
(a) Fabrication of SERS probes: Au nanostars containing reporter molecules (4-MBA) and modified with a bivalent cholesterol-labelled DNA anchor. (b) SERS sensing strategy for exosome detection. (c) A schematic view of a PDA chip and Au@Ag@PDA SERS tag-based exosome sensors. (d) Schematic illustration of the experimental process of AgNCs on a specified high-density hot-ring diameter area Au NR array substrate. (e) Field-emission scanning electron microscopy images of as-fabricated samples and (f) schematic illustration of electromagnetic enhancement.