Autologous Adipose Derived Regenerative Cells: A Platform for Therapeutic Applications

Surg Technol Int. 2016 Oct 26:29:38-44.


Adipose derived regenerative cells (ADRCs) are a heterogeneous population of cells including multipotent adipose derived stems cells, other progenitor cells, fibroblasts, T-regulatory cells, and macrophages. Preclinical data exist supporting benefits that are predominantly through angiogenesis, modulation of inflammation, and wound remodeling. Such effects are likely paracrine in nature. The application of autologous ADRCs has been investigated across multiple therapeutic areas. While there are numerous publications, there is a relative lack of double-blind, well-controlled, randomized clinical trials in the literature. Nevertheless, a consistency in outcomes and a consistency with preclinical and laboratory studies suggests a true positive effect. The therapeutic areas reported include orthopedics, autoimmune disease, wounds and reconstruction, cardiology, peripheral vascular disease, genitourinary disorders, gastrointestinal fistulas, and neurology. Case reports have documented wound healing in otherwise intractable wounds such as ischemic- and radiation-related cutaneous ulcers and enterocutaneous fistulas. An open label, 12-patient-study indicated substantial improvement in hand manifestations of scleroderma across multiple endpoints. Post-radical prostatectomy urinary incontinence improved in a study of 11 patients with local delivery of ADRCs. Small studies of intramyocardial delivery have been associated with trends towards benefit. The studies also indicate that same day fat harvest through liposuction, cell processing, and cell delivery is feasible and can be performed with an acceptable safety profile. The objective of this review is to highlight the interest, potential, and trends that support the need to continue evaluation and exploration for the role of ADRCs as a therapeutic agent.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / cytology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Wound Healing