Exosome Therapy: Borrowing from Nature’s Toolbox

From Labiotech.EU by Farhan Mitha

In just a few years, exosomes have started gaining recognition as a solution to deliver treatments safely and effectively, and as a new approach to regenerative medicine. 

For hundreds of millions of years, multicellular organisms have faced many of the same challenges that biotechnology is grappling with today: how best to shuttle biomolecules to and between cells in a targeted and reliable way. Without these abilities, living systems would be ‘every cell for itself’, and cell-cell communication and coordination would be nearly impossible.

Basic research has revealed that much of this cell-to-cell delivery is carried out by exosomes. Exosomes are tiny lipid bubbles only around 30-100 nanometers across that, while small in size and simple in structure, play crucial roles in fundamental cellular processes such as the regeneration of damaged tissues.

Over the eons, through constant evolutionary R&D, nature has created and optimized these nanocapsules for delivering molecules between and across tissues throughout the body. Today, their elegance and effectiveness at ferrying cargo and sending cellular messages far surpass any human inventions, and their potential for biotech has not gone unnoticed.

Exosomes offer an entirely new paradigm for drug delivery, which is currently a major hurdle for a range of therapeutics. While there are no licensed exosome-based therapeutics yet, the last five years have seen dozens of companies spring up globally to harness these nanobubbles and their time-tested talents.


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