Extracellular vesicles for tissue repair and regeneration: Evidence, challenges and opportunities

Anika Nagelkerke, Miina Ojansivu, Luke van der Koog, Thomas E Whittaker, Eoghan M Cunnane, Andreia M Silva, Niek Dekker, Molly M Stevens*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)
310 Downloads (Pure)


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are biological nanoparticles naturally secreted by cells, acting as delivery vehicles for molecular messages. During the last decade, EVs have been assigned multiple functions that have established their potential as therapeutic mediators for a variety of diseases and conditions. In this review paper, we report on the potential of EVs in tissue repair and regeneration. The regenerative properties that have been associated with EVs are explored, detailing the molecular cargo they carry that is capable of mediating such effects, the signaling cascades triggered in target cells and the functional outcome achieved. EV interactions and biodistribution in vivo that influence their regenerative effects are also described, particularly upon administration in combination with biomaterials. Finally, we review the progress that has been made for the successful implementation of EV regenerative therapies in a clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113775
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
Early online date16-Apr-2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2021

Cite this