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Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters

Open Access

Adipose tissue-derived stem cells show considerable promise for regenerative medicine applications

  • Izabela Harasymiak-Krzyżanowska1,
  • Alicja Niedojadło1,
  • Jolanta Karwat1,
  • Lidia Kotuła1,
  • Paulina Gil-Kulik1,
  • Magdalena Sawiuk1 and
  • Janusz Kocki1Email author
Cellular & Molecular Biology LettersAn International Journal201318:101

Received: 26 April 2013

Accepted: 9 August 2013

Published: 14 August 2013


The stromal-vascular cell fraction (SVF) of adipose tissue can be an abundant source of both multipotent and pluripotent stem cells, known as adipose-derived stem cells or adipose tissue-derived stromal cells (ADSCs). The SVF also contains vascular cells, targeted progenitor cells, and preadipocytes. Stromal cells isolated from adipose tissue express common surface antigens, show the ability to adhere to plastic, and produce forms that resemble fibroblasts. They are characterized by a high proliferation potential and the ability to differentiate into cells of meso-, ecto- and endodermal origin. Although stem cells obtained from an adult organism have smaller capabilities for differentiation in comparison to embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSs), the cost of obtaining them is significantly lower. The 40 years of research that mainly focused on the potential of bone marrow stem cells (BMSCs) revealed a number of negative factors: the painful sampling procedure, frequent complications, and small cell yield. The number of stem cells in adipose tissue is relatively large, and obtaining them is less invasive. Sampling through simple procedures such as liposuction performed under local anesthesia is less painful, ensuring patient comfort. The isolated cells are easily grown in culture, and they retain their properties over many passages. That is why adipose tissue has recently been treated as an attractive alternative source of stem cells. Essential aspects of ADSC biology and their use in regenerative medicine will be analyzed in this article.

Key words

AdipocyteMesenchymal stem cellsRegenerative medicineAdipose tissueStem cell therapyAdipose-derived stem cellsStromal cellsFlow cytometry