Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 411, Issue 7, pp 1311–1318 | Cite as

Label-free detection of exosomes using a surface plasmon resonance biosensor

  • Abu Ali Ibn Sina
  • Ramanathan Vaidyanathan
  • Alain Wuethrich
  • Laura G. CarrascosaEmail author
  • Matt TrauEmail author
Paper in Forefront


The development of a sensitive and specific detection platform for exosomes is highly desirable as they are believed to transmit vital tumour-specific information (mRNAs, microRNAs, and proteins) to remote cells for secondary metastasis. Herein, we report a simple method for the real-time and label-free detection of clinically relevant exosomes using a surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor. Our method shows high specificity in detecting BT474 breast cancer cell–derived exosomes particularly from complex biological samples (e.g. exosome spiked in serum). This approach exhibits high sensitivity by detecting as low as 8280 exosomes/μL which may potentially be suitable for clinical analysis. We believe that this label-free and real-time method along with the high specificity and sensitivity may potentially be useful for clinical settings.


Exosome Surface plasmon resonance Biosensor Cancer biomarker Cancer diagnosis 



We acknowledge the support from the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) for SPR chip fabrication, and Center for Microscopy and Microanalysis (CMM) for cryo-TEM facility.

Funding information

This study received funding from the Australian Research Council (DP180102868). AW received funding from the University of Queensland for the Development Fellowship (UQFEL1831057).

Compliance with ethical standards

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest

Supplementary material

216_2019_1608_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (480 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 480 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abu Ali Ibn Sina
    • 1
  • Ramanathan Vaidyanathan
    • 2
  • Alain Wuethrich
    • 1
  • Laura G. Carrascosa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Matt Trau
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre for Personalised Nanomedicine, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and NanotechnologyThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Biomedical Institute for Global Health Research & TechnologyNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.School of Chemistry and Molecular BiosciencesThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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