Stem cell-extracellular vesicles as drug delivery systems: New frontiers for silk/curcumin nanoparticles

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The aim of this work was to develop a novel carrier-in-carrier system based on stem cell-extracellular vesicles loaded of silk/curcumin nanoparticles by endogenous technique. Silk nanoparticles were produced by desolvation method and curcumin has been selected as drug model because of its limited water solubility and poor bioavailability. Nanoparticles were stable, with spherical geometry, 100 nm in average diameter and the drug content reached about 30%. Cellular uptake studies, performed on mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), showed the accumulation of nanoparticles in the cytosol around the nuclear membrane, without cytotoxic effects. Finally, MSCs were able to release extracellular vesicles entrapping silk/curcumin nanoparticles. This combined biological-technological approach represents a novel class of nanosystems, combining beneficial effects of both regenerative cell therapies and pharmaceutical nanomedicine, avoiding the use of viable replicating stem cells.

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