Recent advances on extracellular vesicles in therapeutic delivery: Challenges, solutions, and opportunities

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Abstract

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are intrinsic mediators of intercellular communication in our body, allowing functional transfer of biomolecules (lipids, proteins, and nucleic acid) between diverse locations. Such an instrumental role evokes a surge of interest within the drug delivery community in tailoring EVs for therapeutic delivery. These vesicles represent a novel generation of drug delivery systems, providing high delivery efficiency, intrinsic targeting properties, and low immunogenicity. In the recent years, considerable research efforts have been directed toward developing safe and efficient EV-based delivery vehicles. Although EVs are shown to harbor great promise in therapeutic delivery, substantial improvements in exploring standardized isolation techniques with high efficiency and robust yield, scalable production, standard procedures for EV storage, efficient loading methods without damaging EV integrity, understanding their in vivo trafficking, and developing novel EV-based nanocarriers are still required before their clinical transformation. In this review, we seek to summarize the recent advance on harnessing EVs for drug delivery with focus on state-of-the-art solutions for overcoming major challenges.

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