Advances in therapeutic applications of extracellular vesicles

Sci Transl Med. 2019 May 15;11(492):eaav8521. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aav8521.


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are nanometer-sized, lipid membrane-enclosed vesicles secreted by most, if not all, cells and contain lipids, proteins, and various nucleic acid species of the source cell. EVs act as important mediators of intercellular communication that influence both physiological and pathological conditions. Given their ability to transfer bioactive components and surmount biological barriers, EVs are increasingly being explored as potential therapeutic agents. EVs can potentiate tissue regeneration, participate in immune modulation, and function as potential alternatives to stem cell therapy, and bioengineered EVs can act as delivery vehicles for therapeutic agents. Here, we cover recent approaches and advances of EV-based therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bioengineering
  • Disease
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Extracellular Vesicles / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy