Prof. Jean-Christophe Leroux


drug delivery, exosomes, nucleic acids, transdermal

What we investigate

Our laboratory develops and characterizes delivery systems for drugs and diagnostic agents. We are designing biodegradable materials, personalized formulations and medical devices that can potentiate the efficiency of drugs by improving their bioavailability. In the context of SKINTEGRITY.CH, we are particularly interested in treating and monitoring skin lesions with native and specifically engineered exosomes.

Our research in more detail

Research Figure Leroux
Development and characterization of drug loaded exosomes for the treatment of wound healing.

Delivering drugs to and across the skin represents a formidable challenge, especially for high molecular weight compounds that are poorly permeable across cell membranes. Our research is mainly aimed at tackling physiological and cellular barriers that are impeding therapeutics from reaching in sufficient amounts their target site whether it is intra- or extracellular. We are developing delivery systems at the macro- or nanoscale that can increase the concentration of active agents at their site of action. Among them, exosomes are of particular interest. These endogenously derived nanovesicles that can function as shuttles of various biomolecules and have the potential to be used as targeted, bioactive and hypoimmunogenic delivery systems. Among the factors limiting their translation into a therapeutic platform, one can cite the non-standardized technologies to characterize and produce such vesicles, as well as the inefficient tools to load their therapeutic cargo. Our goal is to address these limitations, investigating loading techniques to transfer therapeutic agents into exosomes without altering their unique composition and bioactive functions. In collaboration with experts in wound healing, exosome-mediated drug delivery will be tested in skin wound models. Other potential development of this research may include the non-invasive monitoring of endogenous and exogenously applied exosomes in skin lesions.

Selected publications

SKINTEGRITY.CH Principal Investigators are underlined:

  • Hettich BF, Ben Yehuda-Greenwald M, Werner S and Leroux JC (2020). Exosomes for wound healing: purification optimization and identification of bioactive components. Adv. Sci, in press.
  • Polomska AK, Proulx ST, Brambilla D, Fehr D, Bonmarin M, Brändli S, Meboldt M, Steuer C, Vasileva T, Reinke N, Leroux JC and Detmar M (2019). Minimally-invasive method for the point-of-care quantification of lymphatic vessel function. JCI Insight 5, e126515.