Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2016.



First Advisor

Bill Lu


There are many new pharmaceuticals being developed for the treatment of various diseases. One of the major issues these drugs face is the ability to enter a cell or the area of treatment. The current methods for drug delivery are often arduous to complete and do not make it to the diseased area because they are targeted by the immune system. In order to improve the ability for drugs to reach the desired area we propose the use of exosomes. Exosomes are subcellular vesicles that are responsible for the transport of biomaterials or signals within the cell and to other cells. The size of exosomes is small, around 30 nanometers is the average size, which minimizes the potential for immune targeting and also allows them to cross the blood brain barrier. In this project we look at the ability to tag, or add a protein, to the surface of an exosome. The fluorescent protein illustrates the location of the exosome within the cell and its potential to be tagged with other proteins to target various types of cells. Engineering exosomes has the potential to solve the current issues with drug delivery.