Project TitleHigh Throughput Method for Plasma Exosomal Lipid Analysis for Early Cancer Detection
Track Code2143
Short DescriptionNone
Tagscancer; liquid biopsy; exosome purification; FT-MS microfluidic device; lipid profile
Posted DateJul 24, 2017 3:22 PM

Key Advantages

  • May provide a more accurate detection of exosomes from whole peripheral blood
  • May provide greater speed of detection with higher reproducibility and ease of use
  • May provide a platform for new biomarker diagnostics

Market Opportunities

A long standing goal in cancer biology has been to develop tests for early cancer detection through the use of noninvasive methods, most notably liquid biopsies. Exosomes are important biological carriers of information found in circulating blood, lymph, urine and saliva and are considered “representatives” of a cellular phenotype and genotype. The steady state level of circulating exosomes in adult human plasma has been found to be as much as three times higher in individuals with certain carcinomas, and a positive correlation has been established between the level of exosomes and tumor stage in many different cancers. These data suggest exosomes as a clinically applicable biomarker candidate to be included in the rapidly growing molecular oncology diagnostics market. However, current exosome analysis methods are incompatible with clinical laboratories as the methods are too slow, inconvenient, inaccurate and expensive for routine use. 

Technology Solution

Researchers at the University of Kentucky have developed a miniaturized microfluidic device that can purify exosomes from small volumes of whole peripheral blood. In contrast to currently available exosome purification methods requiring lengthy incubation periods and limited sample analysis, this device produces a 10-fold higher yield in a fraction of the time. Other advantages, depending on which existing commercially-available test it is compared to, may include superior sensitivity, specificity, convenience, economy of cost, space and technical time. Another major advantage of this test is that it also has the ability to perform FT-MS for quantitative lipid profiling, unlike most PDMS-based microfluidic devices. 

Commercialization Status

Patent filed

Available Fields of Use

  • cancer diagnostics
  • medical devices


Lane, Andrew; Fan, Teresa; Higashi, Richard

UK OTC Contact

Eric Castlen, Associate Director, Office of Technology Commercialization

A141 ASTeCC Building, Lexington, KY 40506-0286

(859) 257-8211

Patent Number(s)

patent pending


File Name Description
Market Assessment None Download