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Extracellular vesicles are nano- to micro-scale, membrane-bound particles released by cells into extracellular space, and act as carriers of biomarkers and therapeutics, holding promising potential in translational medicine. However, the challenges remain in handling and detecting extracellular vesicles for disease diagnosis as well as exploring their therapeutic capability for disease treatment. Here, we review the recent engineering and technology advances by leveraging the power of sound waves to address the challenges in diagnostic and therapeutic applications of extracellular vesicles and biomimetic nanovesicles. We first introduce the fundamental principles of sound waves for understanding different acoustic-assisted extracellular vesicle technologies. We discuss the acoustic-assisted diagnostic methods including the purification, manipulation, biosensing, and bioimaging of extracellular vesicles. Then, we summarize the recent advances in acoustically enhanced therapeutics using extracellular vesicles and biomimetic nanovesicles. Finally, we provide perspectives into current challenges and future clinical applications of the promising extracellular vesicles and biomimetic nanovesicles powered by sound.

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Exploiting sound for emerging applications of extracellular vesicles

Show Author's information Zhuhao WuHongwei CaiChunhui TianZheng AoLei JiangFeng Guo( )
Department of Intelligent Systems Engineering, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA


Extracellular vesicles are nano- to micro-scale, membrane-bound particles released by cells into extracellular space, and act as carriers of biomarkers and therapeutics, holding promising potential in translational medicine. However, the challenges remain in handling and detecting extracellular vesicles for disease diagnosis as well as exploring their therapeutic capability for disease treatment. Here, we review the recent engineering and technology advances by leveraging the power of sound waves to address the challenges in diagnostic and therapeutic applications of extracellular vesicles and biomimetic nanovesicles. We first introduce the fundamental principles of sound waves for understanding different acoustic-assisted extracellular vesicle technologies. We discuss the acoustic-assisted diagnostic methods including the purification, manipulation, biosensing, and bioimaging of extracellular vesicles. Then, we summarize the recent advances in acoustically enhanced therapeutics using extracellular vesicles and biomimetic nanovesicles. Finally, we provide perspectives into current challenges and future clinical applications of the promising extracellular vesicles and biomimetic nanovesicles powered by sound.

Keywords: exosomes, therapeutics, biomimetic nanovesicles, extracellular vesicles, acoustics, disease diagnostics



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Publication history

Publication history

Received: 02 April 2023
Revised: 09 May 2023
Accepted: 11 May 2023
Published: 01 July 2023
Issue date: February 2024


© Tsinghua University Press 2023



This project was supported by the NIH awards (Nos. U01DA056242, R01DK133864, and DP2AI160242).