Long-term stability of adipose tissue generated from a vascularized pedicled fat flap inside a chamber

Juergan H. Doldere, Erik W Thompson, John L Slavin, Nicholas Trost, Justin J. Cooper-White, Yang Cao, Andrea J. O'Connor, Anthony Penington, Wayne Allan Morrison, Keren M. Abberton

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Background: Numerous studies demonstrate the generation and short-term survival of adipose tissue; however, long-term persistence remains elusive. This study evaluates long-term survival and transferability of de novo adipose constructs based on a ligated vascular pedicle and tissue engineering chamber combination. Methods: Defined adipose tissue flaps were implanted into rats in either intact or perforated domed chambers. In half of the groups, the chambers were removed after 10 weeks and the constructs transferred on their vascular pedicle to a new site, where they were observed for a further 10 weeks. In the remaining groups, the tissue construct was observed for 20 weeks inside the chamber. Tissue volume was assessed using magnetic resonance imaging and histologic measures, and constructs were assessed for stability and necrosis. Sections were assessed histologically and for proliferation using Ki-67. Results: At 20 weeks, volume analysis revealed an increase in adipose volume from 0.04 ± 0.001 ml at the time of insertion into the chambers to 0.27 ± 0.004 ml in the closed and 0.44 ± 0.014 ml in the perforated chambers. There was an additional increase of approximately 10 to 15 percent in tissue volume in flaps that remained in chambers for 20 weeks, whereas the volume of the transferred tissue not in chambers remained unaltered. Histomorphometric assessment of the tissues documented no signs of hypertrophy, fat necrosis, or atypical changes of the newly generated tissue. Conclusion: This study presents a promising new method of generating significant amounts of mature, vascularized, stable, and transferable adipose tissue for permanent autologous soft-tissue replacement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2283-2292
Number of pages10
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

Doldere, J. H., Thompson, E. W., Slavin, J. L., Trost, N., Cooper-White, J. J., Cao, Y., O'Connor, A. J., Penington, A., Morrison, W. A., & Abberton, K. M. (2011). Long-term stability of adipose tissue generated from a vascularized pedicled fat flap inside a chamber. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 127(6), 2283-2292. https://doi.org/10.1097/PRS.0b013e3182131c3e