How to repair a broken heart with pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes?

Heart regeneration addresses a central problem in cardiology, the irreversibility of the loss of myocardium that eventually leads to heart failure. True restoration of heart function can only be achieved by remuscularization, i.e. replacement of lost myocardium by new, force-developing heart muscle. With the availability of principally unlimited human cardiomyocytes from pluripotent stem cells, one option to remuscularize the injured heart is to produce large numbers of cardiomyocytes plus/minus other cardiovascular cell types or progenitors ex vivo and apply them to the heart, either by injection or application as a patch. Exciting progress over the past decade has led to the first clinical applications, but important questions remain. Academic and increasingly corporate activity is ongoing to answer them and optimize the approach to finally develop a true regenerative therapy of heart failure.


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