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Saludas-Echauri, L. (Laura); Oliveira, C. C.; Roncal-Mancho, C. (Carmen); et al. "Extracellular vesicle-based therapeutics for heart repair". Nanomaterials. 11 (3), 2021, 570
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are constituted by a group of heterogeneous membrane vesicles secreted by most cell types that play a crucial role in cell-cell communication. In recent years, EVs have been postulated as a relevant novel therapeutic option for cardiovascular diseases, including myocardial infarction (MI), partially outperforming cell therapy. EVs may present several desirable features, such as no tumorigenicity, low immunogenic potential, high stability, and fine cardiac reparative efficacy. Furthermore, the natural origin of EVs makes them exceptional vehicles for drug delivery. EVs may overcome many of the limitations associated with current drug delivery systems (DDS), as they can travel long distances in body fluids, cross biological barriers, and deliver their cargo to recipient cells, among others. Here, we provide an overview of the most recent discoveries regarding the therapeutic potential of EVs for addressing cardiac damage after MI. In addition, we review the use of bioengineered EVs for targeted cardiac delivery and present some recent advances for exploiting EVs as DDS. Finally, we also discuss some of the most crucial aspects that should be addressed before a widespread translation to the clinical arena.