Although stem-cell technology holds great promise for the treatment of degenerative diseases and the development of new drugs, progress has been hindered by immune and ethical problems in association with the use of embryonic stem cells (ESCs). The recent development of reprogramming of differentiated human somatic cells to pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) should overcome these obstacles and facilitate clinical applications of stem cells. One of the advantages of reprogramming is that it allows the establishment of patient- and disease-specific in vitro models of human hereditary diseases for pathophysiologic and developmental studies. These in vitro models can be used for drug development and testing, moving us a step closer to personalized therapies. This review outlines the current status of pluripotent stem cells and focuses on the potential applications of stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes for clinical therapies, as well as for drug development and testing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)