Fat Recycling: New Tissues From Liposuctioned Fat

Lake Buena Vista, Florida (May 13, 2000) — Liposuctioned fat tissue may provide the raw material to manufacture new "engineered" tissues. Using patented technology, plastic surgeons isolated special cells, known as stem cells, from the fat tissue of elective cosmetic surgery patients, according to a report at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) in Lake Buena Vista. "Results from numerous experiments led us to conclude that human fat tissue contains stem cells that can be turned into bone, muscle, cartilage, fat and perhaps other tissues as well," says Marc H. Hedrick, MD. "Furthermore, these cells can be isolated easily, in great numbers and without the ethical considerations limiting stem cell research." The significance, according to Dr. Hedrick, is that patients' own tissue can be "recycled" to create new important tissues, perhaps in a very brief period of time.

While this tissue engineering technology is not yet ready for patients, Dr. Hedrick says that such stem cells from liposuctioned human tissue could eventually allow us to "manufacture" an individual's bone, cartilage and fat tissues for aesthetic and reconstructive purposes.

This research may also have immense implications for the treatment of "tissue excess" states such as obesity, and "tissue loss" states such as osteoporosis, according to Dr. Hedrick, as it may yield new ways to control tissue growth. He says the research may be as little as a year away from clinical trials.

Tissue engineering may also enable new techniques of breast augmentation, which continues to be one of the most frequently performed cosmetic surgical procedures.

Co-authors: Doctors A. Smith, A. Katz, C. Huang, M. Kang, N. Park, P. Benhaim, H. Lorenz, M. Hedrick


The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.


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