Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2017.



First Advisor

Bill Lu


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes painful inflammation of the synovium of the patient’s joints. However, current treatments for RA have a variety of drawbacks. They often are ineffective, expensive, invasive, risky, cause an immune response, and/ or only provide short term relief. Thus, we developed a new treatment for preventing inflammation: TNF-receptors anchored onto exosome surfaces. Exosomes are nanovesicles that are naturally secreted by most of the cells in our bodies. The many benefits of using exosomes include non-immunogenicity, natural stability in the body, and non-invasiveness. We have demonstrated that exosome membrane bound TNF-receptors have the ability to prevent inflammation in mammalian cells. The success of this project could lead to a clinically effective treatment of rheumatoid arthritis as well as other inflammatory diseases by opening the doors to further research and development of exosomal therapies.