J Korean Med Assoc.  2012 Aug;55(8):757-769. 10.5124/jkma.2012.55.8.757.

Adipose-derived stem cells: characterization and clinical application

  • 1Department of Plastic Surgery, Seoul St. Mary Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. rhie@catholic.ac.kr


Adipose tissue is an ideal tissue to use as an autologous substitute with which to approach tissue deficiency. Clinically, the use of fat grafts and adipose-derived stem cells has dramatically increased worldwide for reconstructive and aesthetic purposes. Human adipose tissue contains a population of pluripotent stem cells capable of differentiating along multiple mesenchymal cell lineages. Adipose tissue is an abundant, expendable, and easily obtained tissue that may prove to be an ideal source of autologous stem cells for regenerating tissues. The recent identification and characterization of multilineage cells from human adipose tissue has been met with a great deal of excitement by the field of tissue engineering. The authors' laboratory has characterized a population of cells obtained from human adipose tissue that have the capacity to differentiate into osteoblasts, chondrocytes, adipocytes, and neuron-like cells in vitro. This article summarizes the basic study of the adipose tissue as a multipotential stem cell source of tissue engineering techniques that are currently being developed to solve common aesthetic problems.


Adipose tissue; Stem cells; Cell transplantation; Differentiation
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