Exosomes: natural nanoparticles as bio shuttles for RNAi delivery

J Control Release. 2018 Nov 10;289:158-170. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2018.10.001. Epub 2018 Oct 2.


Application of exosomes, natural nanoscale vesicles, as specific delivery vehicles has received considerable attention in recent past years. The presence of various adhesive proteins on the surface of these lipid bilayers, gives them the ability to interact with cellular membranes. Although the function of exosomes was not known for some time, further researches have suggested that they are effective in multiple cellular pathways, as well as pathogenesis of a broad range of diseases including neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and more importantly, multiple human malignancies. As erstwhile research brought to light more aspects of exosomes' biogenesis and functions, researchers sought to benefit from their effects in therapeutic and diagnostic purposes. Gene therapy is one of these fields that has seen many endeavors made. The present review article looks at gene therapy and its latest advancements, structure and function of exosomes and their role as bio shuttles in various clinical contexts relating to gene therapy.

Keywords: Exosomes; Gene transferring; Vehicle; miRNA; siRNA.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / therapy
  • Exosomes / chemistry*
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Genetic Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / therapy
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles / chemistry*
  • RNA Interference*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / administration & dosage*


  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles
  • RNA, Small Interfering