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Stem Cells International
Volume 2017, Article ID 4528941, 7 pages
Review Article

De Novo Human Cardiac Myocytes for Medical Research: Promises and Challenges

1University of Ottawa Heart Institute & Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
2Department of Cardiology, Xi’an No. 3 Hospital, Xi’an, China
3Department of Cardiology, Xi’an Central Hospital, Xi’an, China
4Department of Anesthesiology, Zhujiang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China
5Department of Cardiology, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China
6Department of Cardiology, Shanghai Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Wenbin Liang; ac.awattou@3nailw

Received 7 October 2016; Revised 23 January 2017; Accepted 1 February 2017; Published 20 February 2017

Academic Editor: Gary E. Lyons

Copyright © 2017 Veronique Hamel 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.


The advent of cellular reprogramming technology has revolutionized biomedical research. De novo human cardiac myocytes can now be obtained from direct reprogramming of somatic cells (such as fibroblasts), from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs, which are reprogrammed from somatic cells), and from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Such de novo human cardiac myocytes hold great promise for in vitro disease modeling and drug screening and in vivo cell therapy of heart disease. Here, we review the technique advancements for generating de novo human cardiac myocytes. We also discuss several challenges for the use of such cells in research and regenerative medicine, such as the immature phenotype and heterogeneity of de novo cardiac myocytes obtained with existing protocols. We focus on the recent advancements in addressing such challenges.