- Top of page
- Which Stem Cells?
- Bone Marrow-Derived Stem Cells
- Resident Cardiac Stem Cells
- Heart Stem Cell Niches
The authors extend their coverage of recent developments in stem cell-based therapy for repairing the heart to cover the basic questions of what stem cells should be used and how best to favor their survivability within the injured heart. The authors focus their attention on those adult stem/progenitor cells that have been best investigated in animal studies for repairing the infarcted heart and are the focus of completed or ongoing clinical trials. In addition, they discuss the promise that resident cardiac stem cells offer and the recent identification of specialized architecturally defined niches within the heart to nurse their development. Bioengineering approaches employing off-the-shelf mesenchymal stem cell patches may soon provide a way to recreate these niches in the scarred heart. Conceivably, these patches might also be seeded with prescribed mixtures of culturally expanded autologous stem/progenitor cells that would lead to new blood vessel and cardiac myocyte formation. The convergence of bioengineering and molecular biology on stem cell therapy would seem to make what was once unimaginable, cardiac regeneration, a clinical reality in less than one generation.