Engineering cell platforms for myocardial regeneration

Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2011 Aug;11(8):1055-77. doi: 10.1517/14712598.2011.578574. Epub 2011 May 5.


Introduction: Various engineered 'cell-platforms' have been reported in recent years for the possible treatment of myocardial infarction (MI) and end-stage heart failure. These engineered platforms rely on two key factors: cells and/or biomaterial scaffolds for the regeneration of the infarcted heart tissue.

Areas covered: Two major cell-platform approaches are described and broadly categorized as 'injectable cell platforms' and 'patch-based cell platforms'. The recent advancements in these cell-platforms in terms of their relative successes in-vivo as well as their clinical feasibility are summarized. Natural as well as synthetic scaffolds, with or without the cellular component, are compared with cell based therapy alone. This review focuses on achievements, as well as the gaps that are presently checking any progress towards producing clinically relevant panacea for myocardial regeneration.

Expert opinion: Cardiac and induced pluripotent stem cells will probably be the focus of future research. The combined cell-biomaterial scaffold therapy is superior to cell therapy alone. Nevertheless, encouraging pre-clinical successes have limited translation into clinical practice due to limited cell survival post transplantation, inadequate construct thicknesses for human-sized hearts and the traditional use of 'flat (2D) tissue culture' techniques. The development of complementary dynamic 3D cultivation platforms will probably lead to improved outcomes and enable fast screening of various therapeutic approaches.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / therapy*
  • Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / cytology
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / physiology*
  • Regeneration*
  • Tissue Engineering*