Stem cells are human cells able to differentiate to other types of cells and undergo a potentially unlimited number of cell division cycles. A common characteristic of all stem cells is their self-renewal ability. Recent research showed that human adipose tissue contains a high count of mature progenitor cells. The adipose derived mature progenitor cells were demonstrated to have “plasticity” and eventually differentiate to become muscle, cartilage and bone cells.
Thus, they can be used to repair damage in different types of tissue. They only need an environment where their potential can be fully utilised. The stromal vascular fraction (SVF) is known as such optimum environment, as it contains immunomodulating factors, preventing cell death, forming new, normal blood vessels, factors modulating tissue regeneration and – most importantly – paracrines, which participate in chemical signalling, a form of cell-to-cell communication.
Stem cells can be derived from different sources – mobilised peripheral blood, bone marrow and adipose tissue.
However, each source differs in stem cell composition and their regenerative properties.
Adipose tissue contains 2500-fold more stem cells than bone marrow. Furthermore, it contains stromal vascular fraction (SVF), which constitutes natural environment for regenerative cells. Adipose tissue is easy to harvest. Furthermore, we usually have a bit excess of it. Thus, it is possible to combine aesthetic aspects of lipomodelling with therapeutic effect of adipose derived regenerative and stem cells. However, to ensure full potential of ADRCs, several requirements must be met. Enzymatic process is a prerequisite for stem and regenerative cells to be harvested from adipose tissue. It is not enough for the adipose tissue to undergo a standard wash and centrifugation cycle. Furthermore, tissue centrifugation damages the cells, including the ADRCs. Therefore, ADIPOSE TISSUE SHOULD NOT BE PROCESSED BY CENTRIFUGATION PRIOR TO ADRC HARVESTING. Similarly, nobody processes the liver by centrifugation before transplant. Adipose tissue should be seen as any other tissue type, as it follows the same laws of Physics. Thus, washing, centrifugation and emulsification of adipose tissue does not ensure harvesting stem and regenerative cells.
Cell cultures or enzymatic processing are the only methods to ensure sufficient number of stem cells for treatment.
However, only simultaneous enzymatic processing yields stromal vascular fraction containing stem and regenerative cells.
Only certified enzymatic processing of adipose tissue derived stem and regenerative cells can guarantee appropriate cell count and content, crucial for effective tissue regeneration.
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