Characterization and Therapeutic Uses of Exosomes: A New Potential Tool in Orthopedics

Anneliese E. Vitha, Austin W. Kollefrath, Chun Yuh Charles Huang, Franklin Garcia-Godoy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In recent years, regenerative medicine has directed its interests onto the use of stem cells to heal human tissues. One specific class of cells that has been used in this field of research is mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Because of difficulties with the usage of whole stem cells, researchers have turned to an alternative, the secretome of the MSCs. In recent years, research has explored numerous aspects of the MSC secretome, especially the most promising aspect, exosomes. This review explores a variety of interests in exosomes including the classification and molecular composition of exosomes, mechanisms for exosome isolation, and the various biological functions of exosomes. As more is discovered about the exosomes, their different diagnostic and therapeutic uses in the medical field have also been explored. A new field attempting to exploit the exosomes in clinical practice is orthopedics. Although a significant deal of research has been carried out, even more is being discovered to allow utilization of the exosomes in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-150
Number of pages10
JournalStem cells and development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2019


  • cell-derived vesicles
  • exosomes
  • mesenchymal stem cell
  • orthopedics
  • stem cell therapy
  • therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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