Ultrasound-assisted liposuction does not compromise the regenerative potential of adipose-derived stem cells

Dominik Duscher, David Atashroo, Zeshaan N. Maan, Anna Luan, Elizabeth A. Brett, Janos Barrera, Sacha M. Khong, Elizabeth R. Zielins, Alexander J. Whittam, Michael S. Hu, Graham G. Walmsley, Michael S. Pollhammer, Manfred Schmidt, Arndt F. Schilling, Hans GÜnther Machens, Georg M. Huemer, Derrick C. Wan, Michael T. Longaker, Geoffrey C. Gurtner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have recently become a focus of regenerative medicine, both for their multilineage differentiation capacity and their excretion of proregenerative cytokines. Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs) are of particular interest because of their abundance in fat tissue and the ease of harvest via liposuction. However, little is known about the impact of different liposuction methods on the functionality of ASCs. Here we evaluate the regenerative abilities of ASCs harvested via a third-generation ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL) device versus ASCs obtained via standard suction-assisted lipoaspiration (SAL). Lipoaspirates were sorted using fluorescent assisted cell sorting based on an established surface-marker profile (CD34+/CD312/CD452), to obtain viable ASCs. Yield and viability were compared and the differentiation capacities of the ASCs were assessed. Finally, the regenerative potential of ASCs was examined using an in vivo model of tissue regeneration. UAL-and SAL-derived samples demonstrated equivalent ASC yield and viability, and UAL ASCs were not impaired in their osteogenic, adipogenic, or chondrogenic differentiation capacity. Equally, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction showed comparable expression of most osteogenic, adipogenic, and key regenerative genes between both ASC groups. Cutaneous regeneration and neovascularization were significantly enhanced in mice treated with ASCs obtained by either UAL or SAL compared with controls, but there were no significant differences in healing between cell-therapy groups. We conclude that UAL is a successful method of obtaining fully functional ASCs for regenerative medicine purposes. Cells harvested with this alternative approach to liposuction are suitable for cell therapy and tissue engineering applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-257
Number of pages10
JournalStem Cells Translational Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Adipogenesis
  • Adipose-derived stem cells
  • Adult mesenchymal stem cells
  • Cell therapy
  • Fat harvest
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Ultrasound-assisted liposuction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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