Human adipose tissue micro-fragmentation for cell phenotyping and secretome characterization

In the past decade, adipose tissue transplants have been widely used in plastic surgery and orthopaedics to enhance tissue repletion and/or regeneration. Accordingly, techniques for harvesting and processing human adipose tissue have evolved in order to quickly and efficiently obtain large amounts of tissue. Among these, the closed system technology represents an innovative and easy-to-use system to harvest, process, and re-inject refined fat tissue in a short time and in the same intervention (intra-operatively). Adipose tissue is collected by liposuction, washed, emulsified, rinsed and minced mechanically into cell clusters of 0.3 to 0.8 mm. Autologous transplantation of mechanically fragmented adipose tissue has shown remarkable efficacy in different therapeutic indications such as aesthetic medicine and surgery, orthopedic and general surgery. Characterization of micro-fragmented adipose tissue revealed the presence of intact small vessels within the adipocyte clusters; hence, the perivascular niche is left unperturbed. These clusters are enriched in perivascular cells (i.e., mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) ancestors) and in vitro analysis showed an increased release of growth factors and cytokines involved in tissue repair and regeneration, compared to enzymatically derived MSCs. This suggests that the superior therapeutic potential of microfragmented adipose tissue is explained by a higher frequency of presumptive MSCs and enhanced secretory activity. Whether these added pericytes directly contribute to higher growth factor and cytokine production is not known. This clinically approved procedure allows the transplantation of …


Bianca Vezzani, Mario Gomez-Salazar, Joan Casamitjana, Carlo Tremolada, Bruno Péault


JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments)