, Volume 4, Issue 5, pp 592-602
Date: 12 Jul 2011

Stem Cell-Based Cardiac Tissue Engineering

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Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, and cell-based therapies represent a potential cure for patients with cardiac diseases such as myocardial infarction, heart failure, and congenital heart diseases. Towards this goal, cardiac tissue engineering is now being investigated as an approach to support cell-based therapies and enhance their efficacy. This review focuses on the latest research in cardiac tissue engineering based on the use of embryonic, induced pluripotent, or adult stem cells. We describe different strategies such as direct injection of cells and/or biomaterials as well as direct replacement therapies with tissue mimics. In this regard, the latest research has shown promising results demonstrating the improvement of cardiac function with different strategies. It is clear from recent studies that the most important consideration to be addressed by new therapeutic strategies is long-term functional improvement. For this goal to be realized, novel and efficient methods of cell delivery are required that enable high cell retention, followed by electrical integration and mechanical coupling of the injected cells or the engineered tissue to the host myocardium.