Extracellular Vesicles for Regenerative Medicine Applications

Raphael J. Crum, Héctor Capella-Monsonís, Stephen F. Badylak, George S. Hussey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine (TERM) may be defined as a translational discipline focused on the development of novel techniques, devices, and materials to replace or repair injured or diseased tissue and organs. The main approaches typically use cells, scaffolds, and signaling molecules, either alone or in combination, to promote repair and regeneration. Although cells are required to create new functional tissue, the source of cells, either from an exogenous allogeneic or autologous source or through the recruitment of endogenous (autologous) cells, is technically challenging and risks the host rejection of new tissue. Regardless of the cell source, these approaches also require appropriate instruction for proliferation, differentiation, and in vivo spatial organization to create new functional tissue. Such instruction is supplied through the microenvironment where cells reside, environments which largely consist of the extracellular matrix (ECM). The specific components of the ECM, and broadly the extracellular space, responsible for promoting tissue regeneration and repair, are not fully understood, however extracellular vesicles (EVs) found in body fluids and solid phases of ECM have emerged as key mediators of tissue regeneration and repair. Additionally, these EVs might serve as potential cell-free tools in TERM to promote tissue repair and regeneration with minimal risk for host rejection and adverse sequelae. The past two decades have shown a substantial interest in understanding the therapeutic role of EVs and their applications in the context of TERM. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to highlight the fundamental characteristics of EVs, the current pre-clinical and clinical applications of EVs in TERM, and the future of EV-based strategies in TERM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7472
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • extracellular vesicle
  • regenerative medicine
  • tissue engineering


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