Biomaterials-assisted exosomes therapy in osteoarthritis

Biomed Mater. 2022 Feb 2;17(2). doi: 10.1088/1748-605X/ac4c8c.


Due to the avascular characteristic of articular cartilage, its self-repair capacity is limited. When cartilage is damaged or forms osteoarthritis (OA), clinical treatment is necessary. However, conventional treatments, including joint replacement, microfracture, cell and drug therapies, have certain limits. Lately, the exosomes derived from mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs-EXO), which consist of complex transcription factors, proteins and targeting ligand components, have shown great therapeutic potentials. With recent advancements in various biomaterials to extend MSCs-EXO's retention time and control the release propertiesin vivo, biomaterials-assisted exosomes therapy has been soon becoming a practically powerful tool in treating OA. This review analyzes the effects of MSCs-EXO on OA inflammation, metabolism, ageing and apoptosis, and introduces the combinational systems of MSCs-EXO with biomaterials to enhance the repair, anti-inflammatory, and homeostasis regulation functions. Moreover, different types of natural or synthetic biomaterials and their applications with MSCs-EXO were also described and discussed. And finally, we presage the future perspective in the development of biomaterial-assisted exosome therapies, as well as the potential to incorporate with other treatments to enhance their therapeutic effects in OA.

Keywords: biomaterial; exosome; mesenchymal stem cells; osteoarthritis therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials* / administration & dosage
  • Biocompatible Materials* / therapeutic use
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Exosomes*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intra-Articular
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology
  • Mice
  • Osteoarthritis / therapy*
  • Rats


  • Biocompatible Materials