Our program consists of preclinical and clinical investigative components, both targeting cardiovascular diseases, principally those involving acute and chronic ischemic myocardial injury. In the experimental laboratory, we have developed and continue to refine catheter-based injection technologies. The principal goals are to develop methods to quantify procedural success, and to optimize efficacy. The latter addresses stem cell retention and viability, in both in-vitro and in-vivo in models. Building upon our previous studies with real-time MRI, we are now working with real-time 3-D echocardiography and electromechanical mapping for both image-guidance and for assessment of injection efficacy. Along with our 2 dedicated, state-of-the-art angiographic imaging systems, we have the capacity for high resolution vascular imaging, including CTA and for high through-put studies for early and pivotal preclinical studies. To date, with these modalities, we have studied 4 catheter-based injection systems and 5 distinct cell populations (myogenic and angiogenic). Specific areas of study include: 1) allogeneic bone marrow-derived mesenchymal progenitors and ES-derived cardiac precursors, predominantly in chronic myocardial injury, and, 2) intramyocardial injection methods of complex, cell-hydrogel preparations. The clinical component is quickly expanding from the "first-to-implant" autologous skeletal myoblasts by catheter into patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) and bone marrow-derived products for either acute myocardial infarction (STEMI or chronic myocardial ischemia (CMI). Our stem-cell clinical program is actively enrolling patients into studies targeting each of these clinical entities.
A major emphasis of our program is educational, including the annual International Conference on Cell Therapy for Cardiovascular Diseases, the fifth of which is to be held in New York City in mid-January 2009. Our facilities also function as a training center for the new devices.
Sherman W, He K, Yi G, Harvey J, Lee MJ, Haimes H, Lee P, Wang J, Burkhoff B. Myoblast-transfer in an ischemic model of heart failure: effects on rhythm stability. Cell Transplant 2008 (accepted for publication)
Sherman, W. (2007). Myocyte replacement therapy: skeletal myoblasts. Cell Transplant 2007; 16(9):971-5.
Sherman, W., Martens, T.P., Viles-Gonzalez, J.F., Siminiak, T. (2006). Catheter-based delivery of cells to the heart. Nat Clin Pract Cardiovasc Med. 2006;3(suppl 1):S57-64.