Engineered Adipose Tissue Formation Enhanced by Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor and a Mechanically Stable Environment

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Engineered adipose tissue can be used in plastic and reconstructive surgery to augment soft tissue lost due to mastectomy or lumpectomy. The three-dimensional space provided by a scaffold capable of withstanding in vivo compressive forces and neovascularization may promote engineered adipose tissue formation. The objective of this study was to determine whether voluminous adipose tissue can be engineered by combining a mechanically stable environment with basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). Mechanical support structures, fabricated from biodegradable synthetic polymers, were placed into subcutaneous pockets of athymic mice. Human preadipocytes, containing fibrin matrix, with (group 1) or without (group 2) bFGF were injected into the space created by the support structures. Additionally, human preadipocytes containing fibrin matrix, with (group 3) or without (group 4) bFGF, were injected into subcutaneous spaces without support structures. Six weeks after implantation, the original implant volume was approximately maintained in groups 1 and 2, whereas groups 3 and 4 showed significant implant shrinkage. Adipogenesis and angiogenesis were more extensive in the group 1 than any other group. The fraction of human nuclear antigen-positive adipocytes in the implant was highest in group 1. Mouse adipocyte-specific genes were also expressed in the implants, again at the highest levels in group 1. Implanted preadipocyte apoptosis was significantly reduced in the groups treated with bFGF (groups 1 and 3) as opposed to those without (groups 2 and 4). This study demonstrates that combining a mechanically stable environment with bFGF can promote voluminous adipose tissue regeneration. This adipogenesis was likely promoted by the mechanically stable three-dimensional space, enhanced neovascularization, implanted cell survival, and host adipogenic cell migration. The method described in this study could be useful to augment adipose tissue used in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Keywords: Basic fibroblast growth factor; Engineered adipose tissue; Mechanical support structure; Mechanically stable environment; Neovascularization; Preadipocyte

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Bioengineering, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791, Korea, School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea 2: Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791, Korea 3: Department of Plastic Surgery, Catholic University College of Medicine, Seoul 137-701, Korea 4: School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea 5: Department of Bioengineering, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791, Korea

Publication date: April 1, 2007

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.
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