Tissue Eng Regen Med.  2019 Aug;16(4):385-393. 10.1007/s13770-019-00199-7.

Preparation and Characterization of Human Adipose Tissue-Derived Extracellular Matrix, Growth Factors, and Stem Cells: A Concise Review

  • 1BioMedical Research Institute, Joint Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Daegu 41940, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41944, Republic of Korea.
  • 3Department of Urology, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41944, Republic of Korea. tgkwon@knu.ac.kr
  • 4Medical Device Development Center, Daegu-Gyeongbuk Medical Innovation Foundation (DGMIF), Cheombok-ro 80, Dong-gu, Daegu 41061, Republic of Korea. bsjung@dgmif.re.kr
  • 5Department of Urology, Kyungpook National University Chilgok Hospital, 807 Hoguk-ro, Buk-gu, Daegu 41404, Republic of Korea.


Human adipose tissue is routinely discarded as medical waste. However, this tissue may have valuable clinical applications since methods have been devised to effectively isolate adipose-derived extracellular matrix (ECM), growth factors (GFs), and stem cells. In this review, we analyze the literature that devised these methods and then suggest an optimal method based on their characterization results.
Methods that we analyze in this article include: extraction of adipose tissue, decellularization, confirmation of decellularization, identification of residual active ingredients (ECM, GFs, and cells), removal of immunogens, and comparing structural/physiological/biochemical characteristics of active ingredients.
Human adipose ECMs are composed of collagen type I-VII, laminin, fibronectin, elastin, and glycosaminoglycan (GAG). GFs immobilized in GAG include basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), transforming growth factor beta 1(TGF-b1), insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), BMP4 (bone morphogenetic protein 4), nerve growth factor (NGF), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), and epithermal growth factor (EGF). Stem cells in the stromal-vascular fraction display mesenchymal markers, self-renewal gene expression, and multi-differentiation potential.
Depending on the preparation method, the volume, biological activity, and physical properties of ECM, GFs, and adipose tissue-derived cells can vary. Thus, the optimal preparation method is dependent on the intended application of the adipose tissue-derived products.


Human adipose tissue; Extracellular matrix; Growth factors; Adipose-derived stem cell; Optimum method
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