Active targeting strategies aimed at improving drug homing while reducing systemic toxicity are widely being pursued in the growing field of nanomedicine. While they can be effective, these approaches often require the identification of cell-specific targets and in-depth knowledge of receptor binding interactions. More recently, there has been significant interest in biomimetic nanoformulations capable of replicating the properties of naturally occurring systems. In particular, the advent of cell membrane coating nanotechnology has enabled researchers to leverage the inherent tropisms displayed by living cells, bypassing many of the challenges associated with traditional bottom-up nanoengineering.
Researchers from the University of California San Diego have developed a biomimetic organotropic nanodelivery system for localizing therapeutic payloads to the lungs. Metastatic breast cancer exosomes, which are lung tropic due to their unique surface marker expression profile, are used to coat nanoparticle cores loaded with the anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone. In vivo, these nanoparticles demonstrate enhanced accumulation in lung tissue and significantly reduce proinflammatory cytokine burden in a lung inflammation model. Overall, this work highlights the potential of using biomimetic organ-level delivery strategies for the management of certain disease conditions.