Nanoplasmonic Sandwich Immunoassay for Tumor-Derived Exosome Detection and Exosomal PD-L1 Profiling

Chuanyu Wang, Chung Hui Huang, Zhuangqiang Gao, Jialiang Shen, Jiacheng He, Alana MacLachlan, Chao Ma, Ya Chang, Wen Yang, Yuxin Cai, Yang Lou, Siyuan Dai, Weiqiang Chen, Feng Li, Pengyu Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tumor-derived exosomes play a vital role in the process of cancer development. Quantitative analysis of exosomes and exosome-shuttled proteins would be of immense value in understanding cancer progression and generating reliable predictive biomarkers for cancer diagnosis and treatment. Recent studies have indicated the critical role of exosomal programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) in immune checkpoint therapy and its application as a patient stratification biomarker in cancer immunotherapy. Here, we present a nanoplasmonic exosome immunoassay utilizing gold-silver (Au@Ag) core-shell nanobipyramids and gold nanorods, which form sandwich immune complexes with target exosomes. The immunoassay generates a distinct plasmonic signal pattern unique to exosomes with specific exosomal PD-L1 expression, allowing rapid, highly sensitive exosome detection and accurate identification of PD-L1 exosome subtypes in a single assay. The developed nanoplasmonic sandwich immunoassay provides a novel and viable approach for tumor cell-derived exosome detection and analysis with quantitative molecular details of key exosomal proteins, manifesting its great potential as a transformative diagnostic tool for early cancer detection, prognosis, and post-treatment monitoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3308-3319
Number of pages12
JournalACS Sensors
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 24 2021


  • exosomal protein
  • exosomes
  • gold−silver core−shell nanobipyramids (Au@Ag NBPs)
  • immunoassay
  • localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR)
  • microfluidics
  • programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Instrumentation
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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