Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are secreted membrane-enclosed nano-sized particles (40–1000nm) important in intercellular communication to deliver biological information between cells. The molecular composition of these sub-cellular particles includes growth factor receptors, ligands adhesion proteins, mRNA, miRNAs, lncRNA and lipids that are derived from donor cells.
A number of studies have demonstrated that stem cell-derived EVs are the key mediator of tissue repair and regeneration. In addition, the composition of these particles is known to be altered in cancer and disease pathology suggesting them for useful in diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Their endogenous origin and biological properties offer benefits over conventional drug delivery systems, such as liposome, synthetic nanoparticles and prompted the further application of EVs as delivery vehicles.
This project will investigate how to specifically load and deliver a biological payload in nano-carriers for the targeted and selective delivery to target organs/cells. Importantly, this will facilitate understanding the mechanisms of delivery and reprogramming target cells.