Comparing extracellular vesicles and cell membranes as biocompatible coatings for gold nanorods: Implications for targeted theranostics

Paula Maria Pincela Lins*, Laís Ribovski, Luana Corsi Antonio, Wanessa Fernanda Altei, Heloisa Sobreiro Selistre-de-Araújo, Juliana Cancino-Bernardi, Valtencir Zucolotto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) and cell membrane nanoghosts are excellent coatings for nanomaterials, providing enhanced delivery in the target sites and evasion of the immune system. These cell-derived coatings allow the exploration of the delivery properties of the nanoparticles without stimulation of the immune system. Despite the advances reported on the use of EVs and cell-membrane coatings for nanomedicine applications, there are no standards to compare the benefits and main differences between these technologies. Here we investigated macrophage-derived EVs and cell membranes-coated gold nanorods and compared both systems in terms of target delivery in cancer and stromal cells. Our results reveal a higher tendency of EV-coated nanorods to interact with macrophages yet both EV and cell membrane-coated nanorods were internalized in the metastatic breast cancer cells. The main differences between these nanoparticles are related to the presence or absence of CD47 in the coating material, not usually addressed in EVs characterization. Our findings highlight important delivery differences exhibited by EVs- or cell membranes- coated nanorods which understanding may be important to the design and development of theragnostic nanomaterials using these coatings for target delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-179
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell membrane
  • Extracellular vesicles
  • Gold nanorods
  • Macrophages
  • Tumor microenvironment

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