The AAPS Journal

, 20:41 | Cite as

Recent Advances in Exosomal Protein Detection Via Liquid Biopsy Biosensors for Cancer Screening, Diagnosis, and Prognosis

  • Chang Liu
  • Yunchen Yang
  • Yun Wu
Review Article Theme: Therapeutic and Diagnostic Applications of Exosomes and other Extracellular Vesicles
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Theme: Therapeutic and Diagnostic Applications of Exosomes and other Extracellular Vesicles


Current cancer diagnostic methods are challenged by low sensitivity, high false positive rate, limited tumor information, uncomfortable or invasive procedures, and high cost. Liquid biopsy that analyzes circulating biomarkers in body fluids represents a promising solution to these challenges. Exosomes are one of the promising cancer biomarkers for liquid biopsy because they are cell-secreted, nano-sized, extracellular vesicles that stably exist in all types of body fluids. Exosomes transfer DNAs, RNAs, proteins, and lipids from parent cells to recipient cells for intercellular communication and play important roles in cancer initiation, progression, and metastasis. Many liquid biopsy biosensors have been developed to offer non- or minimally-invasive, highly sensitive, simple, rapid, and cost-effective cancer diagnostics. This review summarized recent advances of liquid biopsy biosensors with a focus on the detection of exosomal proteins as biomarkers for cancer screening, diagnosis, and prognosis. We reviewed six major types of liquid biopsy biosensors including immunofluorescence biosensor, colorimetric biosensor, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor, surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) biosensor, electrochemical biosensor, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) biosensor. We shared our perspectives on future improvement of exosome-based liquid biopsy biosensors to accelerate their clinical translation.


biosensor cancer diagnosis exosomes liquid biopsy 



Authors acknowledge the funding support from National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under award number 5R33CA191245. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


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Copyright information

© American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringUniversity at Buffalo, The State University of New YorkBuffaloUSA

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