The rapid progress in the field of stem cell research has laid strong foundations for their use in regenerative medicine applications of injured or diseased tissues. Growing evidences indicate that some observed therapeutic outcomes of stem cell-based therapy are due to paracrine effects rather than long-term engraftment and survival of transplanted cells. Given their ability to cross biological barriers and mediate intercellular information transfer of bioactive molecules, extracellular vesicles are being explored as potential cell-free therapeutic agents.
The Future of Regenerative Medicine: Cell Therapy Using Pluripotent Stem Cells and Acellular Therapies Based on Extracellular Vesicles
In this review, we first discuss the state of the art of regenerative medicine and its current limitations and challenges, with particular attention on pluripotent stem cell-derived products to repair organs like the eye, heart, skeletal muscle and skin. We then focus on emerging beneficial roles of extracellular vesicles to alleviate these pathological conditions and address hurdles and operational issues of this acellular strategy. Finally, we discuss future directions and examine how careful integration of different approaches presented in this review could help to potentiate therapeutic results in preclinical models and their good manufacturing practice (GMP) implementation for future clinical trials.