Fat tissue has a lot of blood vessels, making it a prime source of stem cells, and Alt recognized that stem cells derived from adipose tissue are also particularly good at becoming cartilage and bone. Stem cells are taken from fat tissue with a liposuction procedure.
In regenerative medicine, adult stem cells are the most promising cell types for cell-based therapies. As a new source for multipotent stem cells, we introduced human adipose tissue. These so called adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ADSCs), are ideal for application in regenerative therapies. Their main advantage over mesenchymal stem cells derived from other sources, e.g. from bone marrow, is that they can be easily and repeatable harvested using minimally invasive techniques with low morbidity.
ADSCs are multipotent and can differentiate into various cell types of the tri-germ lineages, including e.g. osteocytes, adipocytes, neural cells, vascular endothelial cells, cardiomyocytes, pancreatic β-cells, and hepatocytes. Interestingly, we characterize ADSCs by immunosuppressive properties and low immunogenicity. Their secretion of trophic factors enforces the therapeutic and regenerative outcome in a wide range of applications. Taken together, these particular attributes of ADSCs make them highly relevant for clinical applications. Consequently, the therapeutic potential of ADSCs is enormous.