Extracellular vesicles (EVs), nanoscale vectors used in intercellular communication, have demonstrated great promise as natural drug delivery systems. Recent reports have detailed impressive in vivo results from the administration of EVs pre-loaded with therapeutic cargo, including small molecules, nanoparticles, proteins and oligonucleotides. These results have sparked intensive research interest across a huge range of disease models. There are, however, enduring limitations that have restricted widespread clinical and pharmaceutical adoption. In this perspective, researchers at the Imperial College London discuss these practical and biological concerns, critically compare the relative merit of EVs and synthetic drug delivery systems, and highlight the need for a more comprehensive understanding of in vivo transport and delivery. Within this framework, the researchers seek to establish key areas in which EVs can gain a competitive advantage in order to provide the tangible added value required for widespread translation.
Strategic design of extracellular vesicle drug delivery systems
Armstrong JPK, Stevens MM. (2018) Strategic design of extracellular vesicle drug delivery systems. Adv Drug Deliv Rev [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]