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Drug delivery application of extracellular vesicles; insight into production, drug loading, targeting, and pharmacokinetics

Division of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are secreted from any types of cells and shuttle between donor cells and recipient cells. Since EVs deliver their cargos such as proteins, nucleic acids, and other molecules for intercellular communication, they are considered as novel mode of drug delivery vesicles. EVs possess advantages such as inherent targeting ability and non-toxicity over conventional nanocarriers. Much efforts have so far been made for the application of EVs as a drug delivery carrier, however, basic techniques, such as mass-scale production, drug loading, and engineering of EVs are still limited. In this review, we summarize following four points. First, recent progress on the production method for EVs is described. Second, current techniques of drug loading methods are summarized. Third, targeting approach to specifically deliver cargo molecules for diseased sites by engineered EVs is discussed. Lastly, strategies to control pharmacokinetics and improve biodistribution are discussed.
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