Engineering extracellular vesicles for biomedical applications

Document Type

News Article


The last decade has seen the development of several types of drug delivery systems (DDS) which include, nanoparticle and liposome-based delivery systems, etc. Many of these DDS systems are popular in general because of their biocompatibility due to their composition being similar to the main components of the cell membranes while giving protection to the payload they carry. However, despite improved biodistribution and therapeutic outcomes in preclinical studies, the translation of such DDS formulations into the clinic has not been successful due to the issues such as biodegradability, formulations stability, immunogenicity, and lack of approaches that efficiently deliver the drugs to the affected tissues/ cell leading to a bottleneck & hence limiting their broader applicability.

In the last 30 years, the use of numerous targeting ligands of different types (monoclonal antibodies, proteins, peptides, reporter enzymes) to target different receptors which are overexpressed on the membrane of the target cells (HER2, VEGF, EGR receptors, etc.), has been investigated. However, the display of such ligands on the surface of a variety of DDS-like liposome-based systems has not been achieved with greater success. Therefore, the development of better surface display technology wherein displaying a functional protein-ligand on the surface of a carrier for targeted drug delivery and therapy is needed and gaining considerable interest in the field of medicine.

Extracellular vesicles are nano-sized vesicle that facilitates cell-cell communications and has become one of the important mediators of intercellular signaling. These naturally occurring vesicles carry several proteins on their surface and bioactive molecular cargoes (miRNA, mRNA, and proteins) within the lumen and thus provide an opportunity to engineer or modify the contents with ease thereby increasing their stability and enhancing their uptake and therapeutic efficacy. Thus, EV’s with their natural ability to carry bioactive constituents along with the recent findings demonstrating the high potential of engineered-extracellular vesicles for the successful delivery of bioactive agents to selected body targets.

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35572589/…..
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35656007/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32944193/

Publication Date

Spring 10-30-2022