Nowadays, cardiac regeneration is an emerging topic in the cardiovascular field because of
the compelling need for effective therapies for repairing or replacing cardiac tissue damaged by pathological
or physiological conditions. Indeed, irreversible myocardial remodeling which follows acute
myocardial infarction represents a serious burden of this century. In this context, a great improvement
in pharmacological and interventional techniques is accompanied by a big challenge of cardiac regenerative
medicine. In the last 20 years, several clinical trials tried to investigate the role of different
types of stem cells in promoting cardiac repair. However, the promising results obtained in the preclinical
trials have not yet been reproduced in patients. Thus, the development of novel strategies to
improve stem cell efficiency became imperative. Here, an overview of the more recent cell types proposed
for cardiac regeneration is presented, together with the most interesting approaches to enhance
cell regenerative potential as well as cell-free approaches.
Keywords: Myocardial infarction, cardiac regeneration, stem cells, preclinical model, cell therapy, clinical translation.
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