Advances in exosome therapies in ophthalmology–From bench to clinical trial

Kostas Kafetzis, ARISTIDES TAGALAKIS, Amisha Sanghani, Cynthia Yu-Wai-Man, Petru Andriesei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

During the last decade, the fields of advanced and personalized therapeutics have been constantly evolving, utilizing novel techniques such as gene editing and RNA therapeutic approaches. However, the method of delivery and tissue specificity remain the main hurdles of these approaches. Exosomes are natural carriers of functional small RNAs and proteins, representing an area of increasing interest in the field of drug delivery. It has been demonstrated that the exosome cargo, especially miRNAs, is at least partially responsible for the therapeutic effects of exosomes. Exosomes deliver their luminal content to the recipient cells and can be used as vesicles for the therapeutic delivery of RNAs and proteins. Synthetic therapeutic drugs can also be encapsulated into exosomes as they have a hydrophilic core, which makes them suitable to carry water-soluble drugs. In addition, engineered exosomes can display a variety of surface molecules, such as peptides, to target specific cells in tissues. The exosome properties present an added advantage to the targeted delivery of therapeutics, leading to increased efficacy and minimizing the adverse side effects. Furthermore, exosomes are natural nanoparticles found in all cell types and as a result, they do not elicit an immune response when administered. Exosomes have also demonstrated decreased long-term accumulation in tissues and organs and thus carry a low risk of systemic toxicity. This review aims to discuss all the advances in exosome therapies in ophthalmology and to give insight into the challenges that would need to be overcome before exosome therapies can be translated into clinical practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalActa Ophthalmologica
Early online date11 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • clinical trial
  • exosome
  • extracellular vesicle
  • gene delivery
  • miRNA
  • nucleic acid
  • ophthalmology

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