Investigation of human adipose stem cell-derived nanoparticles as a biomimetic carrier for intracellular drug delivery

Nanoscale. 2020 Dec 21;12(47):24273-24284. doi: 10.1039/d0nr06571d. Epub 2020 Dec 9.


Prevailing drug delivery strategies rely on the use of synthetic nanocarriers like metal nanoparticles and polymeric liposomes to control the release of therapeutics in a safe and efficacious manner. Despite their high efficiency in encapsulating drugs, these systems exhibit low to moderate biocompatibility, low cellular uptake, and sub-optimal targeting capabilities. Conversely, cell-derived nanoparticles (CDNs) have emerged as a promising alternative to these artificial drug delivery carriers for achieving safer clinical outcomes. In this study, we have generated CDNs from human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) using a high-yield fabrication strategy. Briefly, hASCs were subjected to a cell-shearing approach that entails passing the cells through an array of filters, along with serial centrifugations to eliminate intracellular contents. Ultimately, the fragmented parent cell membrane self-assembles to form the CDNs. This strategy successfully converted 80% of the plasma membrane into the novel nanocarriers with an average hydrodynamic diameter of 100 nm. Stability analysis confirmed that the formulated nanocarriers are stable for over 3 weeks, making them a potent candidate for long-term therapies. To demonstrate their potential in drug delivery, we encapsulated trehalose, a cell-impermeable sugar molecule, into the CDNs via an extrusion loading technique. Drug-loaded CDNs were effectively internalized into human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and hASCs, without inducing any significant cytotoxicity. Overall, the findings of this study establish the potential of hASC-derived CDNs as customizable biomimetic nanocarriers for drug delivery and other translational medicine applications.

MeSH terms

  • Biomimetics
  • Drug Carriers
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Humans
  • Nanoparticles*
  • Stem Cells


  • Drug Carriers