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Cow Milk and Intestinal Epithelial Cell-derived Extracellular Vesicles as Systems for Enhancing Oral Drug Delivery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Greta Carobolante, Julia Mantaj, Enrico Ferrari, Driton Vllasaliu

Original languageEnglish
Article number226
Issue number3
Early online date4 Mar 2020
Accepted/In press2 Mar 2020
E-pub ahead of print4 Mar 2020
PublishedMar 2020


King's Authors


Ingestion is the preferred way for drug administration. However, many drugs have poor oral bioavailability, warranting the use of injections. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) from cow milk have shown potential utility in improving oral drug bioavailability. However, EVs produced by intestinal epithelial cells have not been investigated for this application. We compared the capacity of cow milk EVs and intestinal epithelial cell-derived counterparts to enhance oral drug bioavailability. EVs were isolated, fluorescently labelled, and loaded with curcumin (CUR) as a model poorly absorbable drug. These were then characterised before testing in an intestinal model (Caco-2). Epithelial cell-derived EVs showed notably higher cell uptake compared to cow milk EVs. Cell uptake was significantly higher in differentiated compared to undifferentiated cells for both types of EVs. While both milk- and cell-derived EVs improved the cell uptake and intestinal permeability of CUR (confirming oral drug bioavailability enhancement potential), epithelial cell EVs demonstrated a superior effect.

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