Exosomes: The next generation of endogenous nanomaterials for advanced drug delivery and therapy

Wen Liao, Yu Du, Chenghao Zhang, Fangwei Pan, Yang Yao, Ting Zhang, Qiang Peng
Acta Biomaterialia 2019 March 1, 86: 1-14
Development of functional nanomaterials is of great importance and significance for advanced drug delivery and therapy. Nevertheless, exogenous nanomaterials have a great ability to induce undesired immune responses and nano-protein interactions, which may result in toxicity and failure of therapy. Exosomes, a kind of endogenous extracellular vesicle (40-100 nm in diameter), are considered as a new generation of a natural nanoscale delivery system. Exosomes secreted by different types of cells carry different signal molecules (such as RNAs and proteins) and thus have a great potential for targeted drug delivery and therapy. Herein, we provide comprehensive understanding of the properties and applications of exosomes, including their biogenesis, biofunctions, isolation, purification, and drug loading, and typical examples in drug delivery and therapy. Furthermore, their advantages compared to other nanoparticles and potential in tumor immunotherapy are also discussed. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Exosomes, a kind of endogenous extracellular vesicle, have emerged as a novel and attractive endogenous nanomaterial for advanced drug delivery and targeted therapy. Exosomes are secreted by many types of cells and carry some unique signals obtained from their parental cells. Furthermore, the liposome-like structure allows exosomes to load various drugs. Hence, the potential of exosomes in drug delivery, tumor targeted therapy, and immunotherapy has been investigated in recent years. On the basis of their endogenous features and multifunctional properties, exosomes are of great significance and interest for the development of future medicine and pharmaceuticals.

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