Factors Affecting Extracellular Vesicles Based Drug Delivery Systems

Isha Gaurav, Abhimanyu Thakur, Ashok Iyaswamy, Xuehan Wang, Xiaoyu Chen, Zhijun Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) play major roles in intracellular communication and participate in several biological functions in both normal and pathological conditions. Surface modification of EVs via various ligands, such as proteins, peptides, or aptamers, offers great potential as a means to achieve targeted delivery of therapeutic cargo, i.e., in drug delivery systems (DDS). This review summarizes recent studies pertaining to the development of EV-based DDS and its advantages compared to conventional nano drug delivery systems (NDDS). First, we compare liposomes and exosomes in terms of their distinct benefits in DDS. Second, we analyze what to consider for achieving better isolation, yield, and characterization of EVs for DDS. Third, we summarize different methods for the modification of surface of EVs, followed by discussion about different origins of EVs and their role in developing DDS. Next, several major methods for encapsulating therapeutic cargos in EVs have been summarized. Finally, we discuss key challenges and pose important open questions which warrant further investigation to develop more effective EV-based DDS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1544
Number of pages19
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • drug delivery systems
  • exosomes
  • extracellular vesicles
  • targeted delivery


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