Adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ASCs)

Adipose tissue it is one of the richest sources of stem cells in the body and contains over 10 times more stem cells than bone marrow. As a stem cell source adipose tissue is ubiquitously available and has several advantages compared to other sources. There are no ethical or moral issues involved in harvesting autologous adipose derived stem cells (ADSCs). The harvesting is done by liposuction with local anaesthesia and without scars. Furthermore, large number of cells obtained and repeated harvesting possible (cell culturing is not required to obtain therapeutic amount of cells). Processing of 300ml lipoaspirate yields up to 6x108 cells. Given the safety of liposuction, liposapirate seems an ideal source of ADSCs. Adipose stem cells possess a high plasticity and differentiate into various cell types, including adipocytes, osteoblasts, chondrocytes, myocytes, epithelial and endothelial like cells. ASCs are known to secrete multiple growth factors including VEGF, HGF, NGF and BDNF and interleukins which could via paracrine mechanism induce vascularization, tissue protection or suppress the host’s inflammatory pathways. Preclinical and clinical data support the safety and efficacy of allogeneic and autologously derived adipose stem cells. Ongoing clinical trials have been initiated in variety of medical fields. Current clinical application of these cells include fat grafts, treatment for congenital skull and face defects, scar management and large volume fat transfer for post-cancer breast reconstruction or breast augmentation. There are numerous attempts to achieve successful tissue regeneration by tissue engineering using adequate scaffold materials and cells.