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Stem Cells International
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 4136473, 11 pages
Review Article

Genome Editing Redefines Precision Medicine in the Cardiovascular Field

1Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, German Heart Center Munich, Technische Universität München, Lazarettstraße 36, 80636 Munich, Germany
2Insure (Institute for Translational Cardiac Surgery), Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, German Heart Center, Technische Universität München, Lothstraße 11, 80636 Munich, Germany
3German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK), Partner Site Munich Heart Alliance, Munich, Germany
4Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Cardiovascular Institute, and Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University, 265 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Elda Dzilic; ed.nhm.mhd@cilizd and Stefanie A. Doppler; moc.liamg@relppodiffets

Received 5 July 2017; Accepted 25 October 2017; Published 14 March 2018

Academic Editor: Andrzej Lange

Copyright © 2018 Elda Dzilic 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.


Genome editing is a powerful tool to study the function of specific genes and proteins important for development or disease. Recent technologies, especially CRISPR/Cas9 which is characterized by convenient handling and high precision, revolutionized the field of genome editing. Such tools have enormous potential for basic science as well as for regenerative medicine. Nevertheless, there are still several hurdles that have to be overcome, but patient-tailored therapies, termed precision medicine, seem to be within reach. In this review, we focus on the achievements and limitations of genome editing in the cardiovascular field. We explore different areas of cardiac research and highlight the most important developments: (1) the potential of genome editing in human pluripotent stem cells in basic research for disease modelling, drug screening, or reprogramming approaches and (2) the potential and remaining challenges of genome editing for regenerative therapies. Finally, we discuss social and ethical implications of these new technologies.