Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US. Following an acute myocardial infarction, a fibrous, noncontractile scar develops, and results in congestive heart failure in more than 500,000 patients in the US each year. Muscle regeneration and the induction of new vascular growth to treat ischemic disorders of the heart can have significant therapeutic implications. Early studies in patients with chronic ischemic systolic left ventricular dysfunction (SLVD) using skeletal myoblasts or bone marrow-derived cells report improvement in left ventricular ejection function (LVEF) and clinical status, without notable safety issues. Nonetheless, the efficacy of cell transfer for cardiovascular disease is not established, in part due to a lack of control over cell retention, survival, and function following delivery. We studied the use of biocompatible hydrogels polymerizable in situ as a cell delivery vehicle, to improve cell retention, survival, and function following delivery into the ischemic myocardium. The study was conducted using human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells and fibrin glue, but the methods are applicable to any human stem cells (adult or embryonic) and a wide range of hydrogels. We first evaluated the utility of several commercially available percutaneous catheters for delivery of viscous cell/hydrogel suspensions. Next we characterized the polymerization kinetics of fibrin glue solutions to define the ranges of concentrations compatible with catheter delivery. We then demonstrate the in vivo effectiveness of this preparation and its ability to increase cell retention and survival in a nude rat model of myocardial infarction.