Hybridization of extracellular vesicles with lipid nanovectors

Prof. Dr. Jean-Christophe Leroux1) – ETH Zurich, Switzerland

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Professor Dr. Jean-Christophe LerouxETH Zürich, Vladimir-Prelog-Weg 3, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland

People involved

Dr. Elita Montanari (Postdoc fellow sponsored by the PRC) - ETH Zurich


The technological progress in nanomedicine has enabled the development of novel carriers capable of improving the delivery of therapeutics to their target site. Nowadays, organic and inorganic materials are being manipulated at the micro- and nano-scale to construct particles or vesicles endowed with various functionalities. However, in some cases, their clinical translation remains limited by rapid clearance, poor targeting profiles and low biocompatibility.

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are endogenous carriers that play a key role in the transport of macromolecules throughout the body.1) Taking advantage of such communication pathways, EVs can be employed to engineer advanced drug delivery systems. However, efficient drug-loading still represents a bottleneck for their use as drug carriers. Herein, different lipid nanovectors (LNVs) will be engineered for an effective hybridization of EVs. The loading with nucleic acids will be enabled by the spontaneous coupling and subsequent interactions of the LNVs with the EVs. The obtained hybrid shuttles (HS) will be characterized in terms of their physicochemical and biological properties as well as transfection activity, with the final goal to develop semi-synthetic EV-based platforms with superior therapeutic efficacy.

Benefit for the community

In the last years, lipid-based particle technologies and gene therapy have garnered huge research efforts worldwide, especially with the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the field of extracellular vesicles (EVs) in drug delivery has garnered substantial research efforts from the world’s most significant and prestigious research institutions. Further, both lipid-based vehicles and EVs are the focus of an exponentially increasing number of high-impact publications. With this explorative project, we aim at establishing a platform technology for the RNA loading of EVs and to produce EV-based vehicles with superior therapeutic efficacy. This will enable the development of a novel drug delivery strategy for various therapeutic applications.

Visit the supervisors lab

Contact to Professor Jean-Christophe Leroux.

Wu Q, Fu S, Xiao H, Du J, Cheng F, Wan S, Zhu H, Li D, Peng F, Ding X, Wang L, 2023
Advances in Extracellular Vesicle Nanotechnology for Precision Theranostics
Adv. Sci. (Weinh) 10, e2204814
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