Myocardial infarction (MI) remains the most common cause of death worldwide. Many MI survivors will suffer from recurrent heart failure (HF), which has been recognized as a determinant of adverse prognosis. Despite the success of improved early survival after MI by primary percutaneous coronary intervention, HF after MI is becoming the major driver of late morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs. The development of regenerative medicine has brought hope to MI treatment in the past decade. Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-derived exosomes have been established as an essential part of stem cell paracrine factors for heart regeneration. However, its regenerative power is hampered by low delivery efficiency to the heart.
An international team led by researchers at North Carolina State University designed, fabricated, and tested a minimally invasive exosome spray (EXOS) based on MSC exosomes and biomaterials. In a mouse model of acute myocardial infarction, EXOS improved cardiac function and reduced fibrosis, and promoted endogenous angiomyogenesis in the post-injury heart. The researchers further tested the feasibility and safety of EXOS in a pig model. Our results indicate that EXOS is a promising strategy to deliver therapeutic exosomes for heart repair.