Myocardial infarction (MI) is the leading cause of death worldwide. Recent advances in stem cell research hold great potential for heart tissue regeneration through stem cell-based therapy. While multiple cell types have been transplanted into MI heart in preclinical studies or clinical trials, reduction of scar tissue and restoration of cardiac function have been modest. Several challenges hamper the development and application of stem cell-based therapy for heart regeneration. Application of cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) and cardiac tissue engineering for cell therapy has shown great promise to repair damaged heart tissue. This review presents an overview of the current applications of embryonic CPCs and the development of cardiac tissue engineering in regeneration of functional cardiac tissue and reduction of side effects for heart regeneration. We aim to highlight the benefits of the cell therapy by application of CPCs and cardiac tissue engineering during heart regeneration.
Keywords: Biomaterials; Cardiac progenitor cells; Cardiac tissue engineering; Cell therapy; Heart regeneration; Myocardial infarction.