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Using exosomes as drug delivery systems

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The natural use of exosomes (i.e. the use that cells make of them in their natural environment) is for intracellular communication. Exosomes are released by cells and other uptake them. Therefore, they are ideal candidates for drug delivery. Moreover, their membrane is able to protect the cargo, such as RNA that could quickly disintegrate in the intracellular matrix.

Exosomes show these promising qualities:[@pedrioli2021Extracellular Vesicles as Promising Carriers in Drug Delivery: Considerations from a Cell Biologist’s Perspective]

  • Low immunological response
  • Targeting potential
  • Easy bypass of cellular barriers
  • Cargo protection

However, the challenges in the clinical use of EV's are:

  • EV isolation and purification
  • EV Production scale-up and storage
  • EV Cargo loading
  • EV Targeting
  • EV Cargo delivery

Each one of these aspects is poorly understood and will require more research to address it step by step.


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