Engineering strategies for customizing extracellular vesicle uptake in a therapeutic context

Stem Cell Res Ther. 2022 Mar 28;13(1):129. doi: 10.1186/s13287-022-02806-2.


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are advanced therapeutic strategies that can be used to efficiently treat diseases. Promising features of EVs include their innate therapeutic properties and ability to be engineered as targeted drug delivery systems. However, regulation of EV uptake is one challenge of EV therapy that must be overcome to achieve an efficient therapeutic outcome. Numerous efforts to improve the factors that affect EV uptake include the selection of a cell source, cell cultivation procedure, extraction and purification methods, storage, and administration routes. Limitations of rapid clearance, targeted delivery, and off-targeting of EVs are current challenges that must be circumvented. EV engineering can potentially overcome these limitations and provide an ideal therapeutic use for EVs. In this paper, we intend to discuss traditional strategies and their limitations, and then review recent advances in EV engineering that can be used to customize and control EV uptake for future clinical applications.

Keywords: Customizing EV uptake; EV-targeting; Extracellular vesicle engineering.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Extracellular Vesicles* / metabolism