About this Research Topic
Exosomes are biological nanoparticles, ranging from 30-130 nm in size, that are produced by all cells in the body. They function as biological signalling systems, communicating between cells, carrying proteins, lipids, DNA and RNA. Exosome approaches to therapeutic interventions are far-reaching, from packaging of therapeutic agents to driving both local and systemic immune responses of cellular therapies. Despite their increasingly promising potential value as therapeutic systems, it is evident that further robust studies are necessary including tuning therapeutic payloads, understanding how exosomes are targeted, and proposing bioinspired design. We predict that these steps may open exciting new avenues for therapeutic application and facilitate clinical translation, ultimately, bridging nature with synthetic biology and biophysics to uphold the evolvability of exosomes into reconfigurable and personalized therapeutic systems.
There are many outstanding questions, which include the following highlighted areas:
• The need for better exosome content characterization requiring multiple analytical approaches due to the heterogeneity and highly complex content of exosomes, and the subsequent biological effect. And from this, what regulatory agencies will deem (un)necessary for clinical approval.
• The need to develop approaches to trigger the release of therapeutic exosomes from endogenous cells using immune cell modulators (and, conversely, to inhibit deleterious signalling from diseased cells to prevent disease expansion).
• To understand biogenesis, target cell specificity and the contribution of cell surface components in mechanisms ranging from cell surface receptors to biomechanical signalling.
• To explore the concept of polarized trafficking of exosomes through regulated cytoskeletal dynamics to directed release of exosomes, and the potential to establish concentration gradient corridors for intercellular delivery.
• The convergence that lies between natural, semi-synthetic and synthetic exosomes, and the effect of the existing methods for exosome extraction and production on their structure and function.
The proposed Research Topic will seek to bring together a collection of manuscripts that begin to answer these and other outstanding questions in the development and use of ‘exosomes as therapeutic systems’. To this end, we particularly encourage the submission of original research articles and papers detailing novel methodologies.
Keywords: Exosomes, Trafficking, Synthetic Biology, Therapeutic System, Exosome Targeting
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.