Plastic Surgery
Adult fat cell-derived stem cells useful in tissue reconstruction
Dec 27, 2010 - 8:53:39 AM

Adipose-derived stem cells maintain their "stemness" and could be useful for cell-based therapies. A team of researchers from several institutions in Italy isolated and characterized adult fat cell-derived stem cells from patients undergoing lipoaspiration (surgical removal of fat deposits) in order to investigate the ability of the fat cells to maintain their stem cell characteristics in in vitro cultures to the point where once transplanted they could aid in tissue regeneration.

According to the study's corresponding authors Dr. Stefami Bucher of the San Gallicano Institute (Rome) and Dr. Rita Falcioni of the Regina Elena Cancer Institute (Rome), adipose tissues share several biological properties with bone marrow, they can be found in abundance, they can be obtained from patients undergoing noninvasive lipoaspirate procedures, and they have the potential to be useful in a range of therapeutic applications.

"The use of lipoaspirate as filling material is a powerful technique for tissue repair in plastic surgery," said Dr. Falcioni. "Increasingly, it is used in oncology to repair tissue damaged by surgical treatments, such as mastectomy. The use of purified adipose-derived stem cells might improve this surgical procedure by shortening the time to achieve esthetic results and thereby improving patient quality of life."

The researchers described adipose tissues as "highly specialized connective tissues" that help provide the body with an energy source, yet little research has investigated the transplant potential of adipose-derived stem cells.

"We strongly suggest that the adipose-derived stem cells we purified in our study could be applied in the near future for cell therapy using the cell-assisted lipotransfer technique."

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