Harvesting human adipose tissue-derived adult stem cells: resection versus liposuction.


Department of Dermatology, Regensburg University Hospital, Regensburg, Germany.



Adipose tissue is an abundant source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), which can be used for tissue-engineering purposes. The aim of our study was to determine the more suitable procedure, surgical resection or liposuction, for harvesting human adipose tissue-derived stem cells (hASC) with regard to viability, cell count and differentiation potential.


After harvesting hASC, trypan blue staining and cell counting were carried out. Subsequently, hASC were cultured, analyzed by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) and differentiated under adipogenic, osteogenic and chondrogenic conditions. Histologic and functional analyzes were performed at the end of the differentiation period.


No significant difference was found with regard to the cell counts of hASC from liposuction and surgically resected material (P=0.086). The percentage of viable cells was significantly higher for liposuction aspirates than for resection material (P=0.002). No significant difference was found in the adipogenic differentiation potential (P=0.179). A significantly lower number of cultures obtained from liposuction material than from resection material could be differentiated into osteocytes (P=0.049) and chondrocytes (P=0.012).


Even though some lineages from lipoaspirated hASC can not be differentiated as frequently as those from surgically resected material, liposuction may be superior for some tissue-engineering purposes, particularly because of the less invasive harvesting procedure, the higher percentage of viable cells and the fact that there is no significant difference between lipoaspirated and resected hASC with regard to adipogenic differentiation potential.