An ultrasensitive polydopamine bi-functionalized SERS immunoassay for exosome-based diagnosis and classification of pancreatic cancer†
Early diagnosis and metastasis monitoring for pancreatic cancer are extremely difficult due to a lack of sensitive liquid biopsy methods and reliable biomarkers. Herein, we developed easy-to-prepare and effective polydopamine-modified immunocapture substrates and an ultrathin polydopamine-encapsulated antibody-reporter-Ag(shell)–Au(core) multilayer (PEARL) Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) nano-tag with a quantitative signal of the Raman reporter at 1072 cm−1, which achieved ultrasensitive and specific detection of pancreatic cancer-derived exosomes with a detection limit of only one exosome in 2 μL of sample solution (approximately 9 × 10−19 mol L−1). Furthermore, by analyzing a 2 μL clinical serum sample, the migration inhibitory factor (MIF) antibody-based SERS immunoassay could not only discriminate pancreatic cancer patients (n = 71) from healthy individuals (n = 32), but also distinguish metastasized tumors from metastasis-free tumors, and Tumor Node Metastasis (TNM) P1–2 stages from the P3 stage (the discriminatory sensitivity was 95.7%). Thus, this novel immunoassay provides a powerful tool for the early diagnosis, classification and metastasis monitoring of pancreatic cancer patients.