Blood Exosomes Endowed with Magnetic and Targeting Properties for Cancer Therapy

Exosomes are a class of naturally occurring nanoparticles that are secreted endogenously by mammalian cells. Clinical applications for exosomes remain a challenge because of their unsuitable donors, low scalability, and insufficient targeting ability. In this study, we developed a dual-functional exosome-based superparamagnetic nanoparticle cluster as a targeted drug delivery vehicle for cancer therapy. The resulting exosome-based drug delivery vehicle exhibits superparamagnetic behavior at room temperature, with a stronger response to an external magnetic field than individual superparamagnetic nanoparticles. These properties enable exosomes to be separated from the blood and to target diseased cells. In vivo studies using murine hepatoma 22 subcutaneous cancer cells showed that drug-loaded exosome-based vehicle delivery enhanced cancer targeting under an external magnetic field and suppressed tumor growth. Our developments overcome major barriers to the utility of exosomes for cancer application.