Regulating the production and biological function of small extracellular vesicles

Numerous studies have confirmed the great application potentials of small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) in biological medical field, especially in tissue repair and regeneration. However, the production capability of sEVs by noncancerous cells is very limited, while their dosage requirements in disease treatments are usually very high. Meanwhile, as cell aging, the sEV production capability of cells decreases and the biological function of sEVs changes accordingly. In addition, for special applications, sEVs carrying desired bioactive substances should be designed to perform their expected biological function. Therefore, improving the production of sEVs and precisely regulating their biological function are of great significance for promoting the clinical applications of sEVs. Researchers from Shanghai Jiao Tong University discuss some of the current classic strategies in affecting the cellular behaviors of donor cells and subsequently regulating the production and biological function of their sEVs, including gene engineering methods, stress-inducing conditions, chemical regulators, physical methods, and biomaterial stimulations. Through applying these strategies, increased yield of sEVs with required biological function can be obtained for disease treatment and tissue repair, such as bone regeneration, wound healing, nerve function recovery and cancer treatment, which could not only reduce the harvest cost of sEV but promote the practical applications of sEVs in clinic.

Luo L, Wu Z, Wang Y, Li H. (2021) Regulating the production and biological function of small extracellular vesicles: current strategies, applications and prospects. J Nanobiotechnology 19(1):422. [article]

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