Organotropic drug delivery: Synthetic nanoparticles and extracellular vesicles

Sara Busatto, Anthony Pham, Annie Suh, Shane Shapiro, Joy Wolfram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Most clinically approved drugs (primarily small molecules or antibodies) are rapidly cleared from circulation and distribute throughout the body. As a consequence, only a small portion of the dose accumulates at the target site, leading to low efficacy and adverse side effects. Therefore, new delivery strategies are necessary to increase organ and tissue-specific delivery of therapeutic agents. Nanoparticles provide a promising approach for prolonging the circulation time and improving the biodistribution of drugs. However, nanoparticles display several limitations, such as clearance by the immune systems and impaired diffusion in the tissue microenvironment. To overcome common nanoparticle limitations various functionalization and targeting strategies have been proposed. This review will discuss synthetic nanoparticle and extracellular vesicle delivery strategies that exploit organ-specific features to enhance drug accumulation at the target site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number46
JournalBiomedical Microdevices
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • Exosomes
  • Extracellular vesicles
  • Nanomedicine
  • Nanoparticles
  • Organotropic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology


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