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Published Online: 29 June 2009

Remuscularizing Failing Hearts with Tissue Engineered Myocardium

Publication: Antioxidants & Redox Signaling
Volume 11, Issue Number 8


Supporting or even replacing diseased myocardium with in vitro engineered heart muscle may become a viable option for patients with heart failure. The key to success will be to (1) generate human heart muscle equivalents in vitro, (2) integrate the latter into a failing heart, (3) ensure long-term functional competence of the grafts, and (4) prevent unwanted effects including arrhythmias, inflammation/rejection, and tumor formation. Several promising tissue engineering technologies have already been developed and are presently being tested in animal models. The rapidly evolving field of human stem cell biology has in parallel identified unique cell sources of potential clinical relevance. Somatic cell reprogramming and nontransduced, nonembryonic pluripotent stem cells may be of particular interest to eventually provide patient-specific cells and tissues. Yet, limited cardiac differentiation and cell immaturity still restrict a broad application of any stem cell type in cardiac muscle engineering. Bioreactor technologies, transgenic “optimization,” and growth factor, as well as physical conditioning, have been used to address these caveats. This review summarizes different tissue engineering modalities, speculates on potential clinical uses, provides an overview on cell sources that may ultimately facilitate a patient-specific application, and discusses limitations of tissue engineering-based myocardial repair. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 11, 2011–2023.

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Published In

cover image Antioxidants & Redox Signaling
Antioxidants & Redox Signaling
Volume 11Issue Number 8August 2009
Pages: 2011 - 2023
PubMed: 19203222


Published in print: August 2009
Published online: 29 June 2009
Published ahead of print: 27 April 2009
Published ahead of production: 9 February 2009
Accepted: 7 February 2009
Received: 20 January 2009


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Wolfram–Hubertus Zimmermann
Department of Pharmacology, Georg-August University Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany.
Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg Germany.


Address correspondence to:
Wolfram–Hubertus Zimmermann, M.D.
Georg–August University Goettingen
Department of Pharmacology
Robert-Koch-Str. 40
37075 Goettingen,
E-mail: [email protected]

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