Although recent progress in cardiovascular tissue engineering has generated great expectations for the exploitation of stem cells to restore cardiac form and function, the prospects of a common mass-produced cell resource for clinically viable engineered tissues and organs remain problematic. The refinement of stem cell culture protocols to increase induction of the cardiomyocyte phenotype and the assembly of transplantable vascularized tissue are areas of intense current research, but the problem of immune rejection of heterologous cell type poses perhaps the most significant hurdle to overcome. This article focuses on the potential advantages and problems encountered with various stem cell sources for reconstruction of the damaged or failing myocardium or heart valves and also discusses the need for integrating advances in developmental and stem cell biology, immunology and tissue engineering to achieve the full potential of cardiac tissue engineering. The ultimate goal is to produce off-the-shelf cells and tissues capable of inducing specific immune tolerance.
|Pages (from-to)||1343 - 1356|
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|