Single-step nanoplasmonic VEGF 165 aptasensor for early cancer diagnosis

Hansang Cho, Erh Chia Yeh, Raghu Sinha, Ted A. Laurence, Jane P. Bearinger, Luke P. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


Early cancer diagnosis is very important for the prevention or mitigation of metastasis. However, effective and efficient methods are needed to improve the diagnosis and assessment of cancer. Here, we report a single-step detection method using a nanoplasmonic aptamer sensor (aptasensor), targeting a vascular endothelial growth factor-165 (VEGF 165), a predominant biomarker of cancer angiogenesis. Our single-step detection is accomplished by (1) specific target recognition by an aptamer-target molecule interaction and (2) direct readouts of the target recognition. The readout is achieved by inactivation of surface plasmon enhancement of fluorescent probes preattached to the aptamers. Our aptasensor provides the appropriate sensitivity for clinical diagnostics with a wide range of linear detection from 25 pg/mL to 25 μg/mL (=from 1.25 pM to 1.25 μM), high specificity for VEGF 165 against PDGF-BB, osteopontin (OPN), VEGF 121, NaCl, and temporal/thermal/biological stability. In experiments with 100% serum and saliva from clinical samples, readouts of the aptasensor and an ELISA for VEGF 165 show good agreement within the limit of the ELISA kit. We envision that our developed aptasensor holds utilities for point-of-care cancer prognostics by incorporating simplicity in detection, low-cost for test, and required small sample volumes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7607-7614
Number of pages8
JournalACS Nano
Issue number9
StatePublished - 25 Sep 2012


  • aptamer
  • early cancer diagnostics
  • optical biosensor
  • point-of-care diagnostics
  • prognostics
  • surface plasmonic resonance
  • VEGF


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