Optimized delivery system achieves enhanced endomyocardial stem cell retention

Atta Behfar, Jean Pierre Latere, Jozef Bartunek, Christian Homsy, Dorothee Daro, Ruben J. Crespo-Diaz, Paul G. Stalboerger, Valerie Steenwinckel, Aymeric Seron, Margaret M. Redfield, Andre Terzic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Background-Regenerative cell-based therapies are associated with limited myocardial retention of delivered stem cells. The objective of this study is to develop an endocardial delivery system for enhanced cell retention. Methods and Results-Stem cell retention was simulated in silico using 1- and 3-dimensional models of tissue distortion and compliance associated with delivery. Needle designs, predicted to be optimal, were accordingly engineered using nitinol, a nickel and titanium alloy displaying shape memory and superelasticity. Biocompatibility was tested with human mesenchymal stem cells. Experimental validation was performed with species-matched cells directly delivered into Langendorff-perfused porcine hearts or administered percutaneously into the endocardium of infarcted pigs. Cell retention was quantified by flow cytometry and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction methodology. Models, computing optimal distribution of distortion calibrated to favor tissue compliance, predicted that a 75°-curved needle featuring small-to-large graded side holes would ensure the highest cell retention profile. In isolated hearts, the nitinol curved needle catheter (C-Cath) design ensured 3-fold superior stem cell retention compared with a standard needle. In the setting of chronic infarction, percutaneous delivery of stem cells with C-Cath yielded a 37.7±7.1% versus 10.0±2.8% retention achieved with a traditional needle without effect on biocompatibility or safety. Conclusions-Modeling-guided development of a nitinol-based curved needle delivery system with incremental side holes achieved enhanced myocardial stem cell retention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)710-718
Number of pages9
JournalCirculation: Cardiovascular Interventions
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Catheters
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Regeneration
  • Stem cells


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