Plasmonic Sensors for Extracellular Vesicle Analysis: From Scientific Development to Translational Research

ACS Nano. 2020 Nov 24;14(11):14528-14548. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.0c07581. Epub 2020 Oct 29.


Extracellular vesicles (EVs), actively shed from a variety of neoplastic and host cells, are abundant in blood and carry molecular markers from parental cells. For these reasons, EVs have gained much interest as biomarkers of disease. Among a number of different analytical methods that have been developed, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) stands out as one of the ideal techniques given its sensitivity, robustness, and ability to miniaturize. In this Review, we compare different SPR platforms for EV analysis, including conventional SPR, nanoplasmonic sensors, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, and plasmonic-enhanced fluorescence. We discuss different surface chemistries used to capture targeted EVs and molecularly profile their proteins and RNAs. We also highlight these plasmonic platforms' clinical applications, including cancers, neurodegenerative diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. Finally, we discuss the future perspective of plasmonic sensing for EVs and their potentials for commercialization and clinical translation.

Keywords: biomarkers; biosensing; diagnostics; extracellular vesicles; nanoplasmonics; plasmon-enhanced fluorescence; surface plasmon resonance; surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.