Natural extracellular nanovesicles and photodynamic molecules: is there a future for drug delivery?

Katsuyuki Kusuzaki, Takao Matsubara, Hiroaki Murata, Mariantonia Logozzi, Elisabetta Iessi, Rossella Di Raimo, Fabrizio Carta, Claudiu T. Supuran, Stefano Fais

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Photodynamic molecules represent an alternative approach for cancer therapy for their property (i) to be photo-reactive; (ii) to be not-toxic for target cells in absence of light; (iii) to accumulate specifically into tumour tissues; (iv) to be activable by a light beam only at the tumour site and (v) to exert cytotoxic activity against tumour cells. However, to date their clinical use is limited by the side effects elicited by systemic administration. Extracellular vesicles are endogenous nanosized-carriers that have been recently introduced as a natural delivery system for therapeutic molecules. We have recently shown the ability of human exosomes to deliver photodynamic molecules. Therefore, this review focussed on extracellular vesicles as a novel strategy for the delivery of photodynamic molecules at cancer sites. This completely new approach may enhance the delivery and decrease the toxicity of photodynamic molecules, therefore, represent the future for photodynamic therapy for cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)908-916
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


  • acridine orange
  • exosomes
  • Extracellular nanovesicles
  • photodynamic molecules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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