Bone marrow mononuclear cells prevent postinfarction dysfunction but its effect on chronic dysfunction is modest

Dr. Francisco Fernandez-Avilés offered on Monday February 20th an IDIBAPS Seminar about stem cell therapy for cardiac repair. He offered a wide perspective of the issue and the clinical implications of the latest researches he leads at the Hospital Universitario Gregorio Marañón. Dr. Josep Brugada, Medical Director of the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona and leader of an IDIBAPS research team, shared with him a speech that attracted a high number of investigators to the Esteve Auditorium of the CEK Building.

Biological background and preclinical experiments support the concept of stem cell-based myocardial regeneration and repair. According to Dr. Francisco Fernandez-Avilés bone marrow mononuclear cells prevent postinfarction left ventricular dysfunction, but cell effect on chronic dysfunction is modest. Available cells do not and will not play any role when extensive myocardial scar is present.

In his conclusions, the speaker suggested that the combined us of high selective plasticity stem cells and tissue engineering could solve this problem. Decellularization of cadaveric whole human hearts is feasible and yields a biocompatible scaffold with intact three-dimensional architecture and preserved mechanical properties. These findings represent a first step toward manufacture of human perfusionable heart grafts and open the door for other complex human organ engineering.