Bioengineering exosomes for treatment of organ ischemia-reperfusion injury

Life Sci. 2022 May 18;302:120654. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2022.120654. Online ahead of print.


Ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury is a leading cause of death worldwide. It arises from blood reflowing after tissue hypoxia induced by ischemia that causes severe damages due to the accumulation of reactive oxygen species and the activation of inflammatory responses. Exosomes are the smallest members of the extracellular vesicles' family, which originate from nearly all eukaryotic cells. Exosomes have a great potential in the treatment of I/R injury either in native or modified forms. Native exosomes are secreted by different cell types, such as stem cells, and contain components such as specific miRNA molecules with tissue protective properties. On the other hand, exosome bioengineering has recently received increased attention in context of current advances in the purification, manipulation, biological characterization, and pharmacological applications. There are various pre-isolation and post-isolation manipulation approaches that can be utilized to increase the circulation half-life of exosomes or the availability of their bioactive cargos in the target site. In this review, the various therapeutic actions of native exosomes in different I/R injury will be discussed first. Exosome bioengineering approaches will then be explained, including pre- and post-isolation manipulation methods, applicability for delivery of bioactive agents to injured tissue, clinical translation issues, and future perspectives.

Keywords: Bioengineering; Exosome; Ischemia-reperfusion injury; miRNA.

Publication types

  • Review