Macrophage-Engineered Vesicles for Therapeutic Delivery and Bidirectional Reprogramming of Immune Cell Polarization

Khaga R. Neupane, J. Robert Mccorkle, Timothy J. Kopper, Jourdan E. Lakes, Surya P. Aryal, Masud Abdullah, Aaron A. Snell, John C. Gensel, Jill Kolesar, Christopher I. Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Macrophages, one of the most important phagocytic cells of the immune system, are highly plastic and are known to exhibit diverse roles under different pathological conditions. The ability to repolarize macrophages from pro-inflammatory (M1) to anti-inflammatory (M2) or vice versa offers a promising therapeutic approach for treating various diseases such as traumatic injury and cancer. Herein, it is demonstrated that macrophage-engineered vesicles (MEVs) generated by disruption of macrophage cellular membranes can be used as nanocarriers capable of reprogramming macrophages and microglia toward either pro- or anti-inflammatory phenotypes. MEVs can be produced at high yields and easily loaded with diagnostic molecules or chemotherapeutics and delivered to both macrophages and cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Overall, MEVs show promise as potential delivery vehicles for both therapeutics and their ability to controllably modulate macrophage/microglia inflammatory phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3847-3857
Number of pages11
JournalACS Omega
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 9 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the Light Microscopy Core at the University of Kentucky for confocal microscopy experiments. We also thank Dr. Jennifer S. Moylan, Director at the Biomarker Analysis Lab at the University of Kentucky for providing access to the Meso Sector for MSD analysis. Support for this work was provided by the Kentucky Pediatric Cancer Research Trust Fund (PON2 728 2000002500).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Chemical Engineering (all)


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