Adipose stromal/stem cells assist fat transplantation reducing necrosis and increasing graft performance

Maria Serena Piccinno, Elena Veronesi, Pietro Loschi, Marco Pignatti, Alba Murgia, Giulia Grisendi, Ilaria Castelli, Daniela Bernabei, Olivia Candini, Pierfranco Conte, Paolo Paolucci, Edwin M. Horwitz, Giorgio De Santis, Lorenzo Iughetti, Massimo Dominici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Autologous fat transfer (AFT) is a procedure for adipose tissue (AT) repair after trauma, burns, post-tumor resections and lipodystrophies still negatively impacted by the lack of graft persistence. The reasons behind this poor outcome are unclear and seem to involve damages in either harvested/transplanted mature adipocytes or on their mesenchymal progenitors, namely adipose stromal/stem cells (ASC), and due to post-transplant AT apoptosis and involution. A rabbit subcutaneous AT regeneration model was here developed to first evaluate graft quality at different times after implant focusing on related parameters, such as necrosis and vasculogenesis. Standard AFT was compared with a strategy where purified autologous ASC, combined with hyaluronic acid (HA), assisted AFT. Five million of autologous ex vivo isolated CD29+, CD90+, CD49e+ ASC, loaded into HA, enriched 1 ml of AT generating an early significant protective effect in reducing AFT necrosis and increasing vasculogenesis with a preservation of transplanted AT architecture. This beneficial impact of ASC assisted AFT was then confirmed at three months with a robust lipopreservation and no signs of cellular transformation. By a novel ASC assisted AFT approach we ensure a reduction in early cell death favoring an enduring graft performance possibly for a more stable benefit in patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1274-1289
Number of pages16
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Adipose tissue
  • Autologous fat transfer
  • Lipopreservation
  • Mesenchymal stromal/stem cells
  • Necrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Pharmacology


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