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Current Pharmaceutical Design


ISSN (Print): 1381-6128
ISSN (Online): 1873-4286

Review Article

Extracellular Vesicles as Drug Delivery Systems - Methods of Production and Potential Therapeutic Applications

Author(s): Magdalena Surman, Anna Drożdż, Ewa Stępień and Małgorzata Przybyło*

Volume 25 , Issue 2 , 2019

Page: [132 - 154] Pages: 23

DOI: 10.2174/1381612825666190306153318

Price: $65


Drug delivery systems are created to achieve the desired therapeutic effect of a specific pharmaceutical compound. Numerous drawbacks and side effects such as unfavorable pharmacokinetics, lack of tissue selectivity, immunogenicity, increased systemic clearance and toxicity, have been observed for currently available drug delivery systems (DDSs). The use of natural and artificial extracellular vesicles (EVs) in drug delivery may help to solve the aforementioned problems faced by different DDSs. Due to their self-origin, small size, flexibility, the presence of multiple adhesive molecules on their surfaces as well as their function as biomolecules carriers, EVs are the perfect candidates for DDSs. Currently, several drug delivery systems based on EVs have been proposed. While the great potential of these particles in targeted drug delivery has been recognized in cancer, hepatitis C, neurodegenerative diseases, inflammatory states etc., this field is still in the early stage of development. Unfortunately, the use of EVs from natural sources (cell cultures, body fluids) results in numerous problems in terms of the heterogeneity of isolated vesicle population as well as the method of isolation thereof, which may influence vesicle composition and properties. Therefore, there is a significant need for the synthesis of artificial EV-based DDSs under strictly controlled laboratory conditions and from well-defined biomolecules (proteins and lipids). Vesicle-mimetic delivery systems, characterized by properties similar to natural EVs, will bring new opportunities to study the mechanisms of DDS internalization and their biological activity after delivering their cargo to a target cell.

Keywords: Drug loading, ectosomes, exosomes, liposomes, microvesicles, drug delivery systems.

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