Application of iPS Cell Technology for Cardiac Disease Modeling and Repair
Since the advent of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology by Yamanaka and colleagues in 2006, demonstrating that mouse embryonic fibroblasts can be reprogrammed to an embryonic–like state by forced gene expression of Oct3/4, Sox2, c-Myc and Klf4 using retroviral vectors , several methods of generating iPS cells have been developed. In an important step forward, Yamanaka subsequently reported the generation of iPS cells from human somatic cells using the same factors, providing the stepping stone for human disease modeling in vitro and opening up the potential of cellular reprogramming for regenerative medicine . The work was quickly validated by several groups, either using retroviral vectors with the original reprogramming factors on fetal, neonatal and adult human primary cells  or lentiviral vectors to demonstrate that Oct4, Sox2, Nanog and Lin28 are sufficient to reprogram human somatic cells . Numerous protocols now exist for iPS cell generation and subsequent differentiation into diverse lineages, including cardiac cells. It will be important for the continued refinement and standardization of reprogramming techniques to focus on human therapeutic application, especially in the context of cardiovascular regenerative medicine.