Lipid-based nanobiomaterials as liposomes and lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are the most widely used nanocarriers for drug delivery systems (DDSs). Extracellular vesicles (EVs) and exosomes are also expected to be applied as DDS nanocarriers. The performance of nanomedicines relies on their components such as lipids, targeting ligands, encapsulated DNA, encapsulated RNA, and drugs. Recently, the importance of the nanocarrier sizes smaller than 100 nm is attracting attention as a means to improve the nanomedicine performance. Microfluidics and lab-on-a chip technologies make it possible to produce size-controlled LNPs by a simple continuous flow process and to separate EVs from blood samples by using a surface marker, ligand or electric charge, or by making a mass or particle size discrimination. Here, Hokkaido University engineers overview recent advances in microfluidic devices and techniques for liposomes, LNPs and EVs and their applications for DDSs.
Separation of 50 and 100 nm particles using the nano DLD device
(a) polystyrene beads and (b) exosomes. The nanoparticles are introduced into the DLD device from the center stream of the flow focusing junction.