Human Adipose-Derived stromal/stem Cell Isolation, Culture, and Osteogenic Differentiation

Methods Enzymol. 2014;538:67-88. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-800280-3.00005-0.


Annually, more than 200,000 elective liposuction procedures are performed in the United States and over a million worldwide. The ease of harvest and abundance make human adipose-derived stromal/stem cells (hASCs) isolated from lipoaspirates an attractive, readily available source of adult stem cells that have become increasingly popular for use in many studies. Here, we describe common methods for hASC culture, preservation, and osteogenic differentiation. We introduce methods of ceramic, polymer, and composite scaffold synthesis with a description of morphological, chemical, and mechanical characterization techniques. Techniques for scaffold loading are compared, and methods for determining cell loading efficiency and proliferation are described. Finally, we provide both qualitative and quantitative techniques for in vitro assessment of hASC osteogenic differentiation.

Keywords: Adipose; Cell culture; Ceramic; Composite; Osteogenic differentiation; Scaffold; Stem cell; Stromal.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / cytology*
  • Adult
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Separation / methods
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Ceramics / chemistry
  • Cryopreservation / methods
  • Humans
  • Osteogenesis
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stromal Cells / cytology*
  • Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry*


  • Polymers