, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp 713-726

Cell Delivery Routes for Stem Cell Therapy to the Heart: Current and Future Approaches

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An important factor to determine the success of stem cell therapy to the heart is the choice of cell delivery route. This will affect the fate of donor cells and subsequently influence the outcome of treatment; however, there is currently no optimum cell delivery route appropriate for every disease condition or every donor cell type. This review summarises currently available approaches for administering cells to the heart, with a particular focus on cell retention/survival and the therapeutic benefits seen in preclinical and clinical studies. Two major approaches are intracoronary and intramyocardial injection, which have been widely used for the delivery of various types of cells. Although there are advantages to both approaches, donor cell retention and survival are poor using these methods, potentially limiting therapeutic effects. Various attempts to improve current approaches, along with the development of emerging new approaches, are also described and discussed in this review.