Preparation of an adipogenic hydrogel from subcutaneous adipose tissue

Acta Biomater. 2013 Mar;9(3):5609-20. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2012.11.003. Epub 2012 Nov 9.


The ability to generate controlled amounts of adipose tissue would greatly ease the burden on hospitals for reconstructive surgery. We have previously shown that a tissue engineering chamber containing a vascular pedicle was capable of forming new fat; however, further refinements are required to enhance fat formation. The development and maintenance of engineered adipose tissue requires a suitable source of growth factors and a suitable scaffold. A hydrogel derived from adipose tissue may fulfil this need. Subcutaneous fat was processed into a thermosensitive hydrogel we refer to as adipose-derived matrix (ADM). Protein analysis revealed high levels of basement membrane proteins, collagens and detectable levels of growth factors. Adipose-derived stem cells exposed to this hydrogel differentiated into adipocytes with >90% efficiency and in vivo testing in rats showed significant signs of adipogenesis after 8 weeks. ADM's adipogenic properties combined with its simple gelation, relatively long shelf life and its tolerance to multiple freeze-thaw cycles, makes it a promising candidate for adipose engineering applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipogenesis / drug effects*
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Extracellular Matrix / drug effects
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydrogel, Polyethylene Glycol Dimethacrylate / pharmacology*
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Subcutaneous Fat / chemistry*
  • Sus scrofa


  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Hydrogel, Polyethylene Glycol Dimethacrylate