J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2023 Aug 28;34(9):43. doi: 10.1007/s10856-023-06746-y.
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) derived from human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUCMSCs) have emerged as promising candidates for cell-free therapy in various diseases, including chronic cutaneous wounds. However, the lack of standardized protocols for EVs’ preparation and identification poses a significant challenge to their clinical application. Thus, the objective was to develop a safe and efficient method for the large-scale production of hUCMSC-derived EVs while establishing a comprehensive identification protocol encompassing morphology, particle size distribution, protein expression, and purity. This study observed that most of the EVs acquired through the protocol exhibited either a cup-shaped or round-shaped structure, with a median diameter of ~73.25 nm. The proportions of EVs positive for CD9, CD63, and CD81 were 37.5%, 38.6%, and 19.8%, respectively. To enhance their therapeutic potential in wound treatment, EVs were incorporated into chitosan hydrogel, forming chitosan hydrogel-EVs (CS-EVs). Furthermore, it was demonstrated that CS-EVs exhibited continuous release of EVs into the surrounding environment and, importantly, that the released EVs were internalized by human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), resulting in significant enhancement of cell migration and angiogenesis. Additionally, in a rat model of diabetic foot ulcers, CS-EVs demonstrated a robust therapeutic effect in promoting wound healing. Following a 15-day treatment period, the group treated with CS-EVs demonstrated an impressive 93.3% wound closure ability, accompanied by a high degree of re-epithelialization. In contrast, the control group exhibited only a 71.5% reduction in wound size. In summary, this study offers solutions for the purification, characterization, and application of EVs in clinical wound treatment. These results not only offer fresh perspectives on the involvement of hUCMSC-derived EVs in wound healing but also introduce a non-invasive approach for applying EVs that holds practical significance in skin repair.