From liposuction to adipose-derived stem cells: indications and technique

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Francesco Simonacci
Nicolò Bertozzi
Michele Pio Grieco
Edoardo Raposio


adipose tissue, liposuction, lipofilling, adipose-derived stem cells


Background and aim of the work: Adipose tissue is an organ of energy storage, an endocrine organ, a soft tissue filler and a cosmetically unnecessary tissue discarded by liposuction. Liposuction was designed to correct unaesthetic deposits of subcutaneous fat; it produces satisfactory silhouette contouring when performed by appropriately trained operators using properly selected technologies. However, from lipoaspirate it is possible to obtain autologous fat graft and adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) for reconstructive surgery and regenerative medicine. Autologous fat transplantation uses include the correction of body contour, malformations and post-surgical outcomes. The regenerative properties of ASCs allow treating damaged tissues such as wounds, burns, scars and radiodermatitis. The aim of this study was to perform a literature review highlighting the crucial role of adipose tissue in plastic and reconstructive surgery, from liposuction to lipofilling and ASCs, exposing the indications, procedures and complications of these surgical techniques. Methods: Literature review of publications concerning liposuction, lipofilling and adipose-derived stem cells (ASCS). Results: The introduction of liposuction allowed the use of adipose tissue for many clinical uses. The adipose tissue filling properties have been highlighted by the advent of lipofilling. The regenerative properties evidence of autologous fat transplantation encouraged the research on the clinical use of ASCs. Conclusions: Adipose tissue is not only the main energy storage of our body but also an important source of stem cells that can be used in various fields of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering with encouraging results for the future.


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