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Proceedings Paper

Label-free tracking of single extracellular vesicles in a nano-fluidic optical fiber (Conference Presentation)
Author(s): Edwin van der Pol; Stefan Weidlich; Yoav Lahini; Frank A. W. Coumans; Auguste Sturk; Rienk Nieuwland; Markus A. Schmidt; Sanli Faez; Ton G. van Leeuwen

Paper Abstract

Background: Extracellular vesicles, such as exosomes, are abundantly present in human body fluids. Since the size, concentration and composition of these vesicles change during disease, vesicles have promising clinical applications, including cancer diagnosis. However, since ~70% of the vesicles have a diameter <70 nm, detection of single vesicles remains challenging. Thus far, vesicles <70 nm have only be studied by techniques that require the vesicles to be adhered to a surface. Consequently, the majority of vesicles have never been studied in their physiological environment. We present a novel label-free optical technique to track single vesicles <70 nm in suspension. Method: Urinary vesicles were contained within a single-mode light-guiding silica fiber containing a 600 nm nano-fluidic channel. Light from a diode laser (660 nm wavelength) was coupled to the fiber, resulting in a strongly confined optical mode in the nano-fluidic channel, which continuously illuminated the freely diffusing vesicles inside the channel. The elastic light scattering from the vesicles, in the direction orthogonal to the fiber axis, was collected using a microscope objective (NA=0.95) and imaged with a home-built microscope. Results: We have tracked single urinary vesicles as small as 35 nm by elastic light scattering. Please note that vesicles are low-refractive index (n<1.4) particles, which we confirmed by combining data on thermal diffusion and light scattering cross section. Conclusions: For the first time, we have studied vesicles <70 nm freely diffusing in suspension. The ease-of-use and performance of this technique support its potential for vesicle-based clinical applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 May 2016
PDF: 1 pages
Proc. SPIE 9702, Optical Fibers and Sensors for Medical Diagnostics and Treatment Applications XVI, 970208 (3 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2210876
Show Author Affiliations
Edwin van der Pol, Univ. van Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Stefan Weidlich, Heraeus Quarzglas GmbH & Co. KG (Germany)
Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (Germany)
Yoav Lahini, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Harvard Univ. (United States)
Frank A. W. Coumans, Univ. van Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Auguste Sturk, Univ. van Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Rienk Nieuwland, Univ. van Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Markus A. Schmidt, Leibniz-Institut für Photonische Technologien e.V. (Germany)
Otto Schott Institute of Material Research, Friedrich-Schiller-Univ. Jena (Germany)
Sanli Faez, Leiden Univ. (Netherlands)
Utrecht Univ. (Netherlands)
Ton G. van Leeuwen, Univ. van Amsterdam (Netherlands)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9702:
Optical Fibers and Sensors for Medical Diagnostics and Treatment Applications XVI
Israel Gannot, Editor(s)

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