Extracellular vesicles (EVs) can deliver many types of drugs with their natural source material transport properties, inherent long-term blood circulation capabilities and excellent biocompatibility, and have great potential in the field of drug carrier. Modification of the content and surface of EVs according to the purpose of treatment has become a research focus to improve the drug load and the targeting of EVs. EVs can maximize the stability of the drugs, prevent immune clearance and achieve accurate delivery. Therefore, EVs can be described as “stealth transport aircrafts” for drugs. This chapter will respectively introduce the application of natural EVs as cell substitutes in cell therapy and engineered EVs as carriers of nucleic acids, proteins, small molecule drugs and therapeutic viral particles in disease treatment. It will also explain the drug loading and modification strategies of EVs, the source and characteristics of EVs. In addition, the commercialization progress of EVs drugs will be mentioned here, and the problems in their applications will be discussed in conjunction with the application of EVs in the treatment of COVID-19.
Part of the book: Theranostics