During the past two decades, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been identified as important mediators of intercellular communication, enabling the functional transfer of bioactive molecules from one cell to another. Consequently, it is becoming increasingly clear that these vesicles are involved in many (patho)physiological processes, providing opportunities for therapeutic applications. Moreover, it is known that the molecular composition of EVs reflects the physiological status of the producing cell and tissue, rationalizing their exploitation as biomarkers in various diseases. In this review the composition, biogenesis and diversity of EVs is discussed in a therapeutic and diagnostic context. We describe emerging therapeutic applications, including the use of EVs as drug delivery vehicles and as cell-free vaccines, and reflect on future challenges for clinical translation.
Therapeutic and diagnostic applications of extracellular vesicles
Stremersch S, De Smedt SC, Raemdonck K. (2016) Therapeutic and diagnostic applications of extracellular vesicles. J Control Release [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]