A Preliminary Study of the Effects of Liposuction Technique on Adipose-Derived Stem Cell Viability

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences

First Advisor

Christopher S. Adams, PhD

Second Advisor

Victoria Falcone, DO

Third Advisor

Marina D'Angelo, PhD

Fourth Advisor

Ruth C Borghaei, PhD

Fifth Advisor

Marcus Bell, PhD


Adult stem cells possess the capability to differentiate into cells of many lineages. As such, they are ideal for use in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine purposes. Well-known sources of adult stem cells include bone marrow aspirate, but other sources have gained recognition in recent years. Studies have demonstrated that the adipose tissue recovered from liposuction can be a source of pluripotent mesenchymal stem cells. Adipose tissue is unique because it can be recovered in high quantities from minimally invasive and relatively pain-free procedures when compared with bone marrow collections.

While it has been well demonstrated that stem cells can be isolated from adipose, the impact of specific liposuction techniques on the isolation of those stem cells has not been examined. Thus, this is a preliminary investigation that aims to determine the effects of the collection method utilized during liposuction surgery on adipose derived stem cell populations. Throughout the experimental period, four forms of liposuction were studied: powered liposuction (Custom Acoustic), water-jet assisted liposuction (Body-Jet), ultrasonic liposuction (VASER) and laser lipolysis (SmartLipoMPX), both alone and in combination with each other.

Proportions of stem cells were evaluated through the immunohistological labeling of three specific cell surface markers: CD31, CD34 and CD45. The population of cells that were CD34+ and CD31- and CD45- were defined as the stem cell population. While trends are noticeable between the techniques, in both cell viability and stem cell proportions, to date, sample sizes are insufficient to provide statistical power to predict a conclusive result. The data trends suggest that liposuction technique may be an important factor in determining which collection method to utilize during liposuction procedure depending upon desired end results.

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