Chronic heart failure has emerged as a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Conceptually, replacement of akinetic scar tissue by viable myocardium and improvement of neovascularization should improve cardiac function and impede progressive left ventricular remodelling. Experimental and clinical studies suggest that transfer or mobilization of stem and progenitor cells can have a favourable impact on tissue perfusion and contractile cardiac performance. The aim of the present review was to screen various available patent data bases to give an overview on different patent applications of cell-based and non-cell based therapies in regenerative cardiovascular medicine. The first part describes cell based methods and use of growth factors to improve cardiovascular function. Secondly, patents on methods to improve angiogenesis, re-endothelialization and vascular function are presented. Finally, we describe patents describing methods for improved differentiation of stem cells to cardiovascula r cells, including the generation of cardiomyocytes from embryonic or adult stem cells. A systematic overview on the current patent situation about use of stem cells in cardiovascular medicine should facilitate future decision making in the development of novel therapeutic strategies in regenerative medicine.
Keywords: Embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, myocardial infarction, heart failure, patents, regenerative medicine
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