The obstacles to current extracellular vesicle-mediated drug delivery research

  • Jin Y
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Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) are nanometer-sized cell-derived membrane vesicles that are released by donor cells and play an important role in intercellular communication. In this short communication, we discuss the obstacles currently faced in EV-mediated drug delivery research. The commonly used vehicle for drug delivery in prevalent practice are liposome's which are synthetic vesicles, these vesicles commonly interact with serum proteins, macrophages and other innate immune response molecules and may be destroyed before they can deliver the drug. EVs however have the same membrane compositions and similar cell surface markers as the cells from which they are derived which thus prevents interactions or provocations of an immune response. In addition, EVs have been used to deliver molecules across tight cellular junctions such as the blood brain barrier. This has led to an interest in using EVs as a novel method for drug delivery. We hereby discuss the potential pitfalls and difficulties that need to be addressed before EVs can be used as drug delivery vehicles in pharmacological research.




Jin, Y. (2017). The obstacles to current extracellular vesicle-mediated drug delivery research. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutics, 4(2), 156–158.

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