HOME ABOUT CONTACT AVAILABLE ISSUES SUBSCRIBE MEDIA & ADS
LATEST UPDATES » Vol 25, No. 12, December 2021 – The Future of Us — Transforming Healthcare With Intelligent Machines       » Better Targeted Leukaemia Treatment With New Ferritin-Based Nanomedicine       » Manufacturing Chiral Medicine With New Cobalt-Based Catalyst       » SMART Develops 10-Minute Test for Detection of COVID Immunity       » From Plastics to Plants: Transforming Bio-Based Polymers into Fertilisers       » Creating Solar Cells and Glass From Wood and a Billion Tons of Biowaste      
Vol 25, No. 11, November 2021   |   Issue PDF view/purchase
EYE ON CHINA
Loading Drugs into Exosomes Without Compromising Integrity
Researchers from the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology have developed a nanofluidic device that can prepare exosome-based drug delivery vehicles with greater efficiency while maintaining exosome integrity.

To ensure that drugs are carried to target cells that require them, there is a need to design safe and precise delivery systems. Many delivery vehicles have been developed in recent years, such as nanoparticles, liposomes, and viral vectors. These vectors have been employed in the treatment of cancer, neurodegenerative disease, and cardiovascular disease, etc. However, the use of these is not without side effects.

Exosomes are biological nanocarriers that are naturally secreted by various cell types (e.g. tumour cells) and function as a communication tool between cells. As such, exosomes prove more advantageous than existing delivery systems as they have lower immunogenicity, longer circulation times, non-toxicity, optimal biocompatibility, strong tissue penetration, improved targeting effect, and strong ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. Given this edge, why are they not more widely used? It appears that current methods of loading exosomes with target drugs lacks efficiency, takes a long time to incubate, and induces excessive damage on both exosomes and their cargos.

Taking these limitations into considerations, a team of researchers led by Professor Yang Hui from the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology (SIAT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences developed a novel nanofluidic device that can process high-throughput samples to prepare exosome-based drug delivery vehicles. This device is named “exosome-nanoporator” or ENP, which utilises nanofluidic technology to accurately control the characteristics of fluids in nanoscale to obtain highly controllable conditions for the preparation of exosome-based drug delivery vehicles.

Previous studies have reported that mechanically compressing cells to form transient pores of different sizes on the membranes can facilitate the loading of external macromolecules. Based on this work, the research team assembled 21 parallel microfluidic channels on a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) layer with 10 channels connected to the inlet and 11 channels connected to the outlet. The team further added 1,500 parallel nanochannels on a glass substrate before bonding the PDMS layer to the glass substrate. This way, each pair of inlet and outlet microchannels are bridged by 1,500 parallel nanochannels, which collectively makes 30,000 nanochannels on their novel ENP device, ensuring high sample throughput.

To test the performance and applicability of the ENP, purified exosomes and a chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin hydrochloride (DOX HCl) were introduced into the device via the inlet and processed. As the exosomes pass through the nanochannels, their membranes are mechanically deformed, increasing their permeability as transient nanopores are formed. The drug DOX HCl enters the exosomes from the surrounding buffer and the treated exosomes are collected at the outlet of the device.

After accounting for background noise, the absolute dosage that was loaded into the exosomes by the team’s nanofluidic device exceeds the loading amount of other previously published works and meets the requirements for use in animal models.

To test the targeting effect of the newly treated exosomes, the team incubated human non-small cell lung cancer cells with the ENP-treated exosomes for 24 hours. “We f[ound] that the exosomes treated by the ENP can deliver their drug cargos to human non-small cell lung cancer cells and induce cell death. This indicates potential opportunities [for] the device [in] developing new exosome-based delivery vehicles for medical and biological applications,” said Prof. Yang.

Future work would involve increasing the amount of treated exosomes so that clinical drugs, nucleic acids, proteins, etc. loaded in these extracellular vesicles will reach the actual level for clinical applications. The success of this new strategy would not only advance the field of nanofluidic technology but also open new doors for developing exosome-based delivery vehicles for biological research.


Source: Liao et al. (2021). Antisense ribosomal siRNAs inhibit RNA polymerase I-directed transcription in C. elegans. Nucleic Acids Research, 49(16), 9194-9210.

NEWS CRUNCH  
news Inaugural Asia Summit on Global Health highlights Hong Kong's advantages
news Asia Summit on Global Health (ASGH) 2021 — Shaping a Resilient and Sustainable Future
news TechInnovation 2021 Virtual Exhibition to Showcase Sustainable Energy, Food, and Healthcare Solutions
news A New Approach for Effective Gout Treatment
SPOTLIGHT  

MAGAZINE TAGS
About Us
Events
Available issues
Editorial Board
Letters to Editor
Contribute to APBN
Advertise with Us
CONTACT
World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.
5 Toh Tuck Link, Singapore 596224
Tel: 65-6466-5775
Fax: 65-6467-7667
» For Editorial Enquiries:
   biotech_edit@wspc.com or Ms Carmen Chan
» For Subscriptions, Advertisements &
   Media Partnerships Enquiries:
   biotech_ad@wspc.com
Copyright© 2021 World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd  •  Privacy Policy