Use of stem cells for cardiovascular diseases: current status

posted Jan 25, 2017, 10:36 PM by sourav ghosh
Sujata Mohanty
Professor, Stem Cell Facility (DBT- Centre of Excellence for Stem Cell Research), All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India 

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) has become one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Despite several recent advancements in surgery and medicine, no treatment has come up as the fundamental care for cardiac disease modulation, yet. In this regard, regenerative medicine has endowed with new light to restore structural and electrophysiological function of the damaged heart in treatment of MI. Currently, the two different sources of stem cells are used in various applications in regenerative medicine; these are embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and adult stem cells (ASCs). ASCs are preferred over ESCs due to ethical acceptance, less/no risk of teratoma formation, easy isolation from different adult tissues and easier expansion in culture. ASCs have being tested in several clinical trials and have shown promising results. However, there is inconsistency in the results due to non-uniform isolation techniques, donor specificity and culture conditions adopted for expansion of ASCs. Currently, the focus of research is to find out most optimum source of ASCs along with its mode of transplantation so as to enhance its efficacy. Use of ASCs is being combined with tissue engineering, so as to avoid the issues of loss of stem cells during direct injection. Various scaffolds have been tested in animal models of myocardial infarct and have shown better results. Along with this, other strategies currently under investigation which may contribute in the future to regenerative medicine include use of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)-derived cardiac progenitor cells, directly reprogrammed cardiomyocytes from and acellular therapies using cytokines and growth factors. 
In the talk, I shall be discussing about the achievements and current status of Stem Cell Research within and outside India in the cardiovascular diseases. Also, I shall be talking about the stumbling blocks at present in this research areas and the future prospects.