One-Step Thermophoretic AND Gate Operation on Extracellular Vesicles Improves Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2022 Aug 15;61(33):e202207037. doi: 10.1002/anie.202207037. Epub 2022 Jul 11.


Circulating extracellular vesicles (EVs) have emerged as a valuable source of cancer biomarkers. However, the high degree of EV heterogeneity and the complexity of clinical samples pose a challenge in the sensitive identification of tumor-derived EVs. Here we introduce a one-step thermophoretic AND gate operation (Tango) assay that integrates polyethylene glycol (PEG)-enhanced thermophoretic accumulation of EVs and simultaneous AND gate operation on EV membranes by dual-aptamers recognition. By using the Tango assay to detect tumor-derived EVs with co-presence of EpCAM and PSMA directly from serum in a homogeneous, separation-free format, we can discriminate prostate cancer (PCa) patients from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) patients in the diagnostic gray zone with an accuracy of 91 % in 15 min. Our approach streamlines EV enrichment and AND gate operation on EVs in a single assay, providing a rapid, straightforward, and powerful method for precise and non-invasive diagnosis of cancer.

Keywords: AND Gate; Aptamer; Cancer Diagnosis; Extracellular Vesicles; Thermophoresis.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Extracellular Vesicles*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / diagnosis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Polyethylene Glycols