Exosomes play an important role in numerous cellular processes. Fundamental study and practical use of exosomes are significantly constrained by the lack of analytical tools capable of physical and biochemical characterization. Researchers from Shanghai Jiao Tong University present an optical approach capable of imaging single exosomes in a label-free manner, using interferometric plasmonic microscopy. They demonstrate monitoring of the real-time adsorption of exosomes onto a chemically modified Au surface, calculating the image intensity, and determining the size distribution. The sizing capability enables us to quantitatively measure the membrane fusion activity between exosomes and liposomes. The researchers also report the recording of the dynamic interaction between exosomes and antibodies at the single-exosome level, and the tracking of hit-stay-run behavior of exosomes on an antibody-coated surface. They anticipate that the proposed method will contribute to clinical exosome analysis and to the exploration of fundamental issues such as the exosome–antibody binding kinetics.
Real-time adsorption of exosomes onto a positive-charge-modified Au surface