Bioinspired soft nanovesicles for site-selective cancer imaging and targeted therapies

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Cell-to-cell communication within the heterogeneous solid tumor environment plays a significant role in the uncontrolled metastasis of cancer. To inhibit the metastasis and growth of cancer cells, various chemically designed and biologically derived nanosized biomaterials have been applied for targeted cancer therapeutics applications. Over the years, bioinspired soft nanovesicles have gained tremendous attention for targeted cancer therapeutics due to their easy binding with tumor microenvironment, natural targeting ability, bio-responsive nature, better biocompatibility, high cargo capacity for multiple therapeutics agents, and long circulation time. These cell-derived nanovesicles guard their loaded cargo molecules from immune clearance and make them site-selective to cancer cells due to their natural binding and delivery abilities. Furthermore, bioinspired soft nanovesicles prevent cell-to-cell communication and secretion of cancer cell markers by delivering the therapeutics agents predominantly. Cell-derived vesicles, namely, exosomes, extracellular vesicles, and so forth have been recognized as versatile carriers for therapeutic biomolecules. However, low product yield, poor reproducibility, and uncontrolled particle size distribution have remained as major challenges of these soft nanovesicles. Furthermore, the surface biomarkers and molecular contents of these vesicles change with respect to the stage of disease and types. Here in this review, we have discussed numerous examples of bioinspired soft vesicles for targeted imaging and cancer therapeutic applications with their advantages and limitations. Importance of bioengineered soft nanovesicles for localized therapies with their clinical relevance has also been addressed in this article. Overall, cell-derived nanovesicles could be considered as clinically relevant platforms for cancer therapeutics. This article is categorized under: Biology-Inspired Nanomaterials > Nucleic Acid-Based Structures Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Nanomedicine for Oncologic Disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1792
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology
Issue number4
Early online date22 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • nanoCells
  • nanoTheranostics
  • nanovesicles
  • targeted therapy


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