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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 547902, 15 pages
Review Article

Current Stem Cell Delivery Methods for Myocardial Repair

1School of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, 2220 Pierce Avenue, Nashville, TN 37232, USA
2College of Veterinary Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, 309 East Second Street, Pomona, CA 91766, USA

Received 9 August 2012; Accepted 14 September 2012

Academic Editor: Patrick Müller-Best

Copyright © 2013 Calvin C. Sheng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Heart failure commonly results from an irreparable damage due to cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. In recent years, the rapid advancements in stem cell research have garnered much praise for paving the way to novel therapies in reversing myocardial injuries. Cell types currently investigated for cellular delivery include embryonic stem cells (ESCs), induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and adult stem cell lineages such as skeletal myoblasts, bone-marrow-derived stem cells (BMSCs), mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), and cardiac stem cells (CSCs). To engraft these cells into patients’ damaged myocardium, a variety of approaches (intramyocardial, transendocardial, transcoronary, venous, intravenous, intracoronary artery and retrograde venous administrations and bioengineered tissue transplantation) have been developed and explored. In this paper, we will discuss the pros and cons of these delivery modalities, the current state of their therapeutic potentials, and a multifaceted evaluation of their reported clinical feasibility, safety, and efficacy. While the issues of optimal delivery approach, the best progenitor stem cell type, the most effective dose, and timing of administration remain to be addressed, we are highly optimistic that stem cell therapy will provide a clinically viable option for myocardial regeneration.