Available technologies, Biotechnology, Life Sciences, Pharmaceuticals, Research tool


An innovative biosensing platform for medical diagnostic and therapeutic

The huge potential of exosomes

Exosomes are small membrane bound extracellular vesicles released by both healthy and cancerous cells. Bioactive substances from cell cytoplasm (DNA, RNA, proteins and lipids) are encapsulated into exosomes and shed into the extracellular environment under both normal and pathological conditions.  Initially considered as “garbage” molecules, exosomes have unlimited potential in diagnostics and therapeutics, especially in oncology.

Diagnostic market: $186M in 2023 (40% CAGR 2017-2023) Exosomes contains biomolecules implicated in cancer and multiple disease (neurodegenerative, metabolic, infectious, etc.). As they can be isolated from biofluids (plasma, urine, cerebrospinal) exosomes represent a very attractive alternative to an invasive biopsy for cancer diagnosis.

Therapeutic market: $40M in 2023 (28% CAGR 2017-2023) Potential sectors include vaccine, cancer, immune disorders, Alzheimer, infectious diseases, cardiac diseases (regenerative potential) and drug delivery tools.

Unmet need: Standard methods for detection, isolation and characterization of exosomes are not suitable for clinical applications (incomplete separation, time consuming and low yield) and represent a major challenge in the exosome market

Colloidal gold platform for exosome research

A research team of Concordia University has developed a new platform to selectively and specifically detect, capture and characterize exosomes.  Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are used to detect biomolecules using Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance (LSPR) technique.  AuNPs are stabilized in colloidal solution for higher sensitivity on the whole surface of AuNP.  This biosensing protocol involves 6 entities (Fig.1) and allows rapid exosome isolation by precipitation

Fig. 1: Cross-section of one nanoparticle immobilized with the successive layers of bio-entities involved in the detection of exosomes

Gold nanoparticle colloidal solution

Multiple advantages

-Versatile (detection of multiple biomolecules)

-Accurate quantification of absolute concentration in biofluids (POC diagnostic)

-Easy-to-use method

-Higher sensitivity

-Complete isolation from the media

-Faster isolation (less than 4h)

-Higher yield

Stage of development

Proof-of-concept in various applications:

-rBGH synthetic hormone detection in milk

-Exosomes detection in MCF7 breast cancer cells

Work in progress to convert the technology to a unique hand-held microfluidic device (Fig.2)

Fig. 2: Schematic of microfluidic device for the colloidal platform to detect and isolate biomolecules


Partnering opportunity

– US Provisional patent application

– In-licensing opportunity for technology development and commercialization


If you are interested by this technology, please contact :

Sébastien Chaffre, Director Business Development, Life Sciences
schaffre@aligo.ca, (438) 728-7580


Concordia University

Main inventor

Photo Muthukumaran Packirisamy

Dr. Muthukumaran Packirisamy, Professor, Mechanical, Industrial and Aerospace Engineering
Concordia Institute of Aerospace Design & Innovation

Dr. Packirisamy, a Professor and Concordia Research Chair at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Concordia University, Director of Micro-Nano-Bio Integration Center and Optical Bio Microsystems Lab, a co-founder of the start-up company on 3D Manufacturing, is an academician of Canada, a member of Royal Society of Canada and recipient of Fellows of Canadian Academy of Engineering, Engineering Institute of Canada, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Institution of Engineers India, Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering and I.W.Smith award, Concordia University Research Fellow, Petro Canada Young Innovator Award and ENCS Young Research Achievement Award. As an author of around 430 articles published in journals and conferences, 40 invited talks, 20 inventions, he has supervised more than 170 personnel including 12 Research Associates, 31 PhDs, 51 Masters and 69 UG students and obtained grants around $15 Million. He is a world leader on multi-disciplinary area of micro-nano-integrated-Lab-on-Chips for applications in life sciences.

External references