Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which are collectively called pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), have emerged as a promising source for regenerative medicine. Particularly, human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs) have shown robust potential for regenerating injured heart. Over the past two decades, protocols to differentiate hPSCs into CMs at high efficiency have been developed, opening the door for clinical application. Studies further demonstrated therapeutic effects of hPSC-CMs in small and large animal models and the underlying mechanisms of cardiac repair. However, gaps remain in explanations of the therapeutic effects of engrafted hPSC-CMs. In addition, bioengineering technologies improved survival and therapeutic effects of hPSC-CMs in vivo. While most of the original concerns associated with the use of hPSCs have been addressed, several issues remain to be resolved such as immaturity of transplanted cells, lack of electrical integration leading to arrhythmogenic risk, and tumorigenicity. Cell therapy with hPSC-CMs has shown great potential for biological therapy of injured heart; however, more studies are needed to ensure the therapeutic effects, underlying mechanisms, and safety, before this technology can be applied clinically.
Keywords: Biomaterials; Cardiomyocytes; Cell- and tissue-based therapy; Pluripotent stem cells; Regeneration.
Copyright © 2018. The Korean Society of Cardiology.