Rapid Capture of Cancer Extracellular Vesicles by Lipid Patch Microarrays

Adv Mater. 2021 Sep;33(35):e2008493. doi: 10.1002/adma.202008493. Epub 2021 Jul 26.

Abstract

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) contain various bioactive molecules such as DNA, RNA, and proteins, and play a key role in the regulation of cancer progression. Furthermore, cancer-associated EVs carry specific biomarkers and can be used in liquid biopsy for cancer detection. However, it is still technically challenging and time consuming to detect or isolate cancer-associated EVs from complex biofluids (e.g., blood). Here, a novel EV-capture strategy based on dip-pen nanolithography generated microarrays of supported lipid membranes is presented. These arrays carry specific antibodies recognizing EV- and cancer-specific surface biomarkers, enabling highly selective and efficient capture. Importantly, it is shown that the nucleic acid cargo of captured EVs is retained on the lipid array, providing the potential for downstream analysis. Finally, the feasibility of EV capture from patient sera is demonstrated. The demonstrated platform offers rapid capture, high specificity, and sensitivity, with only a small need in analyte volume and without additional purification steps. The platform is applied in context of cancer-associated EVs, but it can easily be adapted to other diagnostic EV targets by use of corresponding antibodies.

Keywords: breast cancer; dip-pen nanolithography; extracellular vesicles; scanning probe lithography; supported lipid bilayers.