Stem Cells and Progenitor Cells for Tissue-Engineered Solutions to Congenital Heart Defects
Jacot, Jeffrey G.
Synthetic patches and fixed grafts currently used in the repair of congenital heart defects are nonliving, noncontractile, and not electrically responsive, leading to increased risk of complication, reoperation, and sudden cardiac death. Studies suggest that tissue-engineered patches made from living, functional cells could grow with the patient, facilitate healing, and help recover cardiac function. In this paper, we review the research into possible sources of cardiomyocytes and other cardiac cells, including embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, adipose-derived stem cells, umbilical cord blood cells, amniotic fluid-derived stem cells, and cardiac progenitor cells. Each cell source has advantages, but also has technical hurdles to overcome, including heterogeneity, functional maturity, immunogenicity, and pathogenicity. Additionally, biomaterials used as patch materials will need to attract and support desired cells and induce minimal immune responses.
stem cells; progenitor cells; congenital heart defects; cardiac tissue engineering