Mesenchymal stem cell: an efficient mass producer of exosomes for drug delivery

Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2013 Mar;65(3):336-41. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2012.07.001. Epub 2012 Jul 7.


Advances in biomedical research have generated an unprecedented number of potential targets for therapeutic intervention to treat disease or delay disease progression. Unfortunately, many of these targets are not druggable as they are intracellular, present in many cell types, poorly soluble or rapidly inactivated. Although synthetic drug vehicles have successfully circumvented many of these problems, natural particulates such as exosomes that intrinsically possess many attributes of a drug delivery vehicle are highly attractive as potentially better alternatives. Of the cell types known to produce exosomes, the readily available proliferative, immunosuppressive and clinically tested human mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) is the most prolific producer. Its exosomes are therapeutic in animal model of disease and exhibit immunosuppressive activity. The quality and quantity of exosome production is not compromised by immortalization to create a permanent MSC cell line. Therefore, MSC is well suited for mass production of exosomes that are ideal for drug delivery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Drug Carriers / metabolism
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Drug Design
  • Exosomes / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism*


  • Drug Carriers