Label-free characterization of exosome via surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy for the early detection of pancreatic cancer

Joseph Carmicheal, Chihiro Hayashi, Xi Huang, Lei Liu, Yao Lu, Alexey Krasnoslobodtsev, Alexander Lushnikov, Prakash G. Kshirsagar, Asish Patel, Maneesh Jain, Yuri L. Lyubchenko, Yongfeng Lu, Surinder K. Batra, Sukhwinder Kaur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Pancreatic cancer is a highly lethal malignancy. Lack of early diagnostic markers makes timely detection of pancreatic cancer a highly challenging endeavor. Exosomes have emerged as information-rich cancer specific biomarkers. However, characterization of tumor-specific exosomes has been challenging. This study investigated the proof of principle that exosomes could be used for the detection of pancreatic cancer. Label-free analysis of exosomes purified from normal and pancreatic cancer cell lines was performed using surface enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) and principal component differential function analysis (PC-DFA), to identify tumor-specific spectral signatures. This method differentiated exosomes originating from pancreatic cancer or normal pancreatic epithelial cell lines with 90% accuracy. The cell line trained PC-DFA algorithm was next applied to SERS spectra of serum-purified exosomes. This method exhibited up to 87% and 90% predictive accuracy for HC and EPC individual samples, respectively. Overall, our study identified utility of SERS spectral signature for deciphering exosomal surface signature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-96
Number of pages9
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • Exosome
  • Label-free
  • Liquid biopsy
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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