Engineering Macrophage-Derived Exosomes as Drug Carriers

Featured with low immunogenicity, high biocompatibility, and high efficacy of delivery, macrophage-exosomes have emerged as a promising drug delivery system. Macrophage-derived exosomes retain the targeting abilities and pro-inflammatory functions of macrophages. Macrophage-derived exosomes are attractive drug delivery vehicles for cancer treatment. Creative Biolabs is proud to launch our macrophage-derived exosome engineering service for drug delivery. Our seasoned scientists will develop a complete solution for engineering macrophage-derived exosomes as drug carriers.

Introduction to Exosomes

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are phospholipid and protein constructs that are continuously secreted by cells in the form of smaller (30-200 nm) and larger (micron size) particles. The smaller size is normally called exosomes. Exosomes can transport microRNAs (miRNAs), mRNAs, and proteins through bodily fluids, facilitate intercellular communication and elicit immune responses. Exosomal contents vary depending on the source and the physiological conditions of cells, and these contents can provide insights into how cells and systems cope with physiological perturbations. Exosomes have now been explored as a potential candidate in therapeutics delivery, due to their endogenous functionality, intrinsic targeting property, and ability to cooperate with a host defense mechanism.

Macrophage-derived exosomes represent a relatively large proportion of the blood. They display surface membrane properties similar to those of macrophages. Therefore, macrophage-derived exosomes can be used as drug carriers for tumor therapy. Studies have shown that macrophage-derived exosomes loaded with potent anticancer agents show high anticancer efficacy. They not only target malignant tumors but also modulate the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. They are like mini M1 macrophages, with similar functions and effects.

The interaction and mechanism of macrophage and recipient cell by exosomes. In macrophage, the de novo formation of exosomes is shown. Fig.1 The interaction and mechanism of macrophage and recipient cell by exosomes. In macrophage, the de novo formation of exosomes is shown. (Liu, 2020)

Engineering Macrophage-Derived Exosomes as Drug Carriers at Creative Biolabs

At Creative Biolabs, many isolation methods are available, including ultracentrifugation (UC), ultrafiltration, density gradient flotation, size-exclusion chromatography (SEC), immunoaffinity, commercial isolation kits, nanoscale flow cytometry, asymmetrical flow field flow fractionation, microfluidic platforms, including size-based separation, immunoaffinity-based separation, and dynamic separation. However, there is still no current standard for EV isolation, with each method having its strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, our scientists choose an appropriate isolation method based on the purpose of the study.

Characterization of exosomes primarily involves morphological and molecular identification. At Creative Biolabs, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) and Western blotting (WB) are commonly employed to detect the complete spherical structures, nano-scales of EVs respectively and EV protein markers. Notably, several methods should be used collectively to characterize exosomes.

With an experienced team of in-house experts in drug delivery, Creative Biolabs has developed several strategies to engineer macrophage-derived exosomes as drug carriers, providing our clients with highly customizable solutions.

Creative Biolabs offers fast, reliable support for engineering macrophage-derived exosomes as drug carriers. For more detailed information, please feel free to contact us or send us your inquiry or question.


  1. Liu, J.; et al. Macrophage-derived exosomes in cancers: biogenesis, functions and therapeutic applications. Immunology Letters. 2020.
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