Platelet extracellular vesicles (PEVs) are an emerging delivery vehi for anticancer drugs due to their ability to target and remain in the tumor microenvironment. However, there is still a lack of understanding regarding yields, safety, drug loading efficiencies, and efficacy of PEVs. In this study, various methods were compared to generate PEVs from clinical-grade platelets, and their properties were examined as vehicles for doxorubicin (DOX). Sonication and extrusion produced the most PEVs, with means of 496 and 493 PEVs per platelet (PLT), respectively, compared to 145 and 33 by freeze/thaw and incubation, respectively. The PEVs were loaded with DOX through incubation and purified by chromatography. The size and concentration of the PEVs and PEV-DOX were analyzed using dynamic light scattering and nanoparticle tracking analysis. The results showed that the population sizes and concentrations of PEVs and PEV-DOX were in the ranges of 120–150 nm and 1.2–6.2 × 1011 particles/mL for all preparations. The loading of DOX determined using fluorospectrometry was found to be 2.1 × 106, 1.7 × 106, and 0.9 × 106 molecules/EV using freeze/thaw, extrusion, and sonication, respectively. The internalization of PEVs was determined to occur through clathrin-mediated endocytosis. PEV-DOX were more efficiently taken up by MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells compared to MCF7/ADR breast cancer cells and NIH/3T3 cells. DOX-PEVs showed higher anticancer activity against MDA-MB-231 cells than against MCF7/ADR or NIH/3T3 cells and better than acommercial liposomal DOX formulation. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that PEVs generated by PLTs using extrusion, freeze/thaw, or sonication can efficiently load DOX and kill breast cancer cells, providing a promising strategy for further evaluation in preclinical animal models. The study findings suggest that sonication and extrusion are the most efficient methods to generate PEVs and that PEVs loaded with DOX exhibit significant anticancer activity against MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2237134
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Cancer
  • doxorubicin
  • drug delivery
  • extracellular vesicle
  • platelet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


Dive into the research topics of 'Platelet extracellular vesicles are efficient delivery vehicles of doxorubicin, an anti-cancer drug: preparation and in vitro characterization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this