Engineering of adipose tissue by implantation of preadipocytes within biodegradable materials has already been extensively reported. However, a method that allows to accurately determine the resorption rate of adipose tissue constructs has not been described to date. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the non-invasive and non-destructive technique of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could be used to assess the resorption rate of adipose tissue substitutes after injection of human preadipocytes within fibrin into athymic nude mice. Different concentrations of undifferentiated preadipocytes were injected within fibrin into athymic nude mice. Two days, 3 months and 6 months post-implantation, the mice were anaesthetised and an MRI was performed using a 9.4 Tesla device in order to determine both volume and resorption rate of the implants. Subsequently, the specimens were explanted and qualitative analysis of adipose tissue formation was performed by histological examination. After implantation, a progressive resorption of all constructs was macroscopically observed. Implants could be easily visualised and delimited from the surrounding tissues by MRI. Magnetic resonance analysis demonstrated a resorption rate of the implants of 99-100% at 6 months, which was also confirmed by histological analysis. In the remaining implants, formation of human adipose tissue could be immunohistologically confirmed. Here, we show that MRI provides an efficient and non-invasive method for the assessment of implant resorption in adipose tissue engineering.
Copyright © 2010 British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.