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Ziegler, Tilman; Hinkel, Rabea; Kupatt, Christian (2018): Induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiac models: effects of Thymosin 4. In: Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy, Vol. 18, No. Suppl. 1: pp. 111-120
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Introduction: The establishment of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and cardiomyocytes differentiated from them generated a new platform to study pathophysiological processes and to generate drug screening platforms and iPSC-derived tissues as therapeutic agents. Although major advances have been made in iPSC-reprogramming, cardiac differentiation and EHT production, reprogramming efficiency and the maturity of iPSC-CMs need to be further improved.Areas covered: In this review, the authors summarize the current state of the field of iPSC research, the methodology of cardiac differentiation of iPSCs, the use of iPSC-CMs as disease models and toxicity screening platforms, and the potential of EHTs as therapeutic agents. The authors furthermore highlight the mechanisms by which Thymosin 4 might enhance the production of iPSC-CMs and EHTs to improve their maturity and performance.Expert Opinion: iPSCs derived cardiomyocytes and EHTs represent a still young research field with many problems and pitfalls that need to be resolved to realize the full potential of iPSC-CMs and EHTs. Given that Thymosin 4 directly enhances cardiac differentiation while also promoting angiogenic sprouting and vessel maturation, T4 might be of particular interest as a novel agent in tackling the difficulty of iPSC-CMs and engineered heart tissue grafts.