Stem cell-based therapy: Improving myocardial cell delivery

Dries A M Feyen, RG Gaetani, Pieter A. Doevendans, Joost P G Sluijter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Stem cell-based therapies form an exciting new class of medicine that attempt to provide the body with the building blocks required for the reconstruction of damaged organs. However, delivering cells to the correct location, while preserving their integrity and functional properties, is a complex undertaking. These challenges have led to the development of a highly dynamic interdisciplinary research field, wherein medical, biological, and chemical sciences have collaborated to develop strategies to overcome the physiological barriers imposed on the cellular therapeutics. In this respect, improving the acute retention and subsequent survival of stem cells is key to effectively increase the effect of the therapy, while proper tissue integration is imperative for stem cells to functionally replace lost cells in damaged organs. In this review, we will use the heart as an example to highlight the current knowledge of therapeutic stem cell utilization, the existing pitfalls and limitations, and the approaches that have been developed to overcome them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-115
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016


  • Cell retention
  • Cell therapy
  • Myocardial repair
  • Progenitor cell
  • Stem cell


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