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In ACS applied nano materials

Gastric cancer (GC) is one of the most common and lethal types of cancer affecting over one million people, leading to 768,793 deaths globally in 2020 alone. The key for improving the survival rate lies in reliable screening and early diagnosis. Existing techniques including barium-meal gastric photofluorography and upper endoscopy can be costly and time-consuming and are thus impractical for population screening. We look instead for small extracellular vesicles (sEVs, currently also referred as exosomes) sized ⌀ 30-150 nm as a candidate. sEVs have attracted a significantly higher level of attention during the past decade or two because of their potentials in disease diagnoses and therapeutics. Here, we report that the composition information of the collective Raman-active bonds inside sEVs of human donors obtained by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) holds the potential for non-invasive GC detection. SERS was triggered by the substrate of gold nanopyramid arrays we developed previously. A machine learning-based spectral feature analysis algorithm was developed for objectively distinguishing the cancer-derived sEVs from those of the non-cancer sub-population. sEVs from the tissue, blood, and saliva of GC patients and non-GC participants were collected (n = 15 each) and analyzed. The algorithm prediction accuracies were reportedly 90, 85, and 72%. "Leave-a-pair-of-samples out" validation was further performed to test the clinical potential. The area under the curve of each receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.96, 0.91, and 0.65 in tissue, blood, and saliva, respectively. In addition, by comparing the SERS fingerprints of individual vesicles, we provided a possible way of tracing the biogenesis pathways of patient-specific sEVs from tissue to blood to saliva. The methodology involved in this study is expected to be amenable for non-invasive detection of diseases other than GC.

Liu Zirui, Li Tieyi, Wang Zeyu, Liu Jun, Huang Shan, Min Byoung Hoon, An Ji Young, Kim Kyoung Mee, Kim Sung, Chen Yiqing, Liu Huinan, Kim Yong, Wong David T W, Huang Tony Jun, Xie Ya-Hong