Methods Enzymol. 2006;418:267-83. doi: 10.1016/S0076-6879(06)18016-7.


Derivation of cardiomyocytes from embryonic stem cells would be a boon for treatment of the many millions of people worldwide who suffer significant cardiac tissue damage in a myocardial infarction. Such cells could be used for transplantation, either as loose cells, as organized pieces of cardiac tissue, or even as pieces of organs. Eventual derivation of human embryonic stem cells via somatic cell nuclear cloning would provide cells that not only may replace damaged cardiac tissue, but also would replace tissue without fear that the patient's immune system will reject the implant. Embryonic stem cells can differentiate spontaneously into cardiomyocytes. In vitro differentiation of embryonic stem cells normally requires an initial aggregation step to form structures called embryoid bodies that differentiate into a wide variety of specialized cell types, including cardiomyocytes. This chapter discusses methods of encouraging embryoid body formation, causing pluripotent stem cells to develop into cardiomyocytes, and expanding the numbers of cardiomyocytes so that the cells may achieve functionality in transplantation, all in the mouse model system. Such methods may be adaptable and/or modifiable to produce cardiomyocytes from human embryonic stem cells.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bioreactors
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods
  • Cell Separation
  • Coronary Disease / pathology
  • Culture Media
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / cytology*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / physiology


  • Culture Media