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Open Access A New Nonenzymatic Method and Device to Obtain a Fat Tissue Derivative Highly Enriched in Pericyte-Like Elements by Mild Mechanical Forces From Human Lipoaspirates

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Adipose tissue contains multipotent elements with phenotypic and gene expression profiles similar to human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) and pericytes. The chance of clinical translation of the multilineage potential of these cells is delayed by the poor/negligible cell survival within cryopreserved lipoaspirates, the difficulty of ex vivo expansion, and the complexity of current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) requirements for expanded cells. Hence, availability of a minimally manipulated, autologous, hMSC/pericyte-enriched fat product would have remarkable biomedical and clinical relevance. Here, we present an innovative system, named Lipogems, providing a nonexpanded, ready-to-use fat product. The system uses mild mechanical forces in a completely closed system, avoiding enzymes, additives, and other manipulations. Differently from unprocessed lipoaspirate, the nonexpanded Lipogems product encompasses a remarkably preserved vascular stroma with slit-like capillaries wedged between adipocytes and stromal stalks containing vascular channels with evident lumina. Immunohistochemistry revealed that Lipogems stromal vascular tissue included abundant cells with pericyte/hMSC identity. Flow cytometry analysis of nonexpanded, collagenase-treated Lipogems product showed that it was comprised with a significantly higher percentage of mature pericytes and hMSCs, and lower amount of hematopoietic elements, than enzymatically digested lipoaspirates. Differently from the lipoaspirate, the distinctive traits of freshly isolated Lipogems product were not altered by cryopreservation. Noteworthy, the features of fresh product were retained in the Lipogems product obtained from human cadavers, paving the way to an off-the-shelf strategy for reconstructive procedures and regenerative medicine. When placed in tissue culture medium, the Lipogems product yielded a highly homogeneous adipose tissue-derived hMSC population, exhibiting features of hMSCs isolated from other sources, including the classical commitment to osteogenic, chondrogenic, and adipogenic lineages. Moreover, the transcription of vasculogenic genes in Lipogems-derived adipose tissue hMSCs was enhanced at a significantly greater extent by a mixture of natural provasculogenic molecules, when compared to hMSCs isolated from enzymatically digested lipoaspirates.

Keywords: Adipose tissue; Lipoaspirates; Nonenzymatic isolation; Stem cells; Stromal vascular architecture

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 5, 2013

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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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