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Burns. 2018 Sep;44(6):1531-1542. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2018.05.006. Epub 2018 Jun 27.

Preclinical assessment of safety and efficacy of intravenous delivery of autologous adipose-derived regenerative cells (ADRCs) in the treatment of severe thermal burns using a porcine model.

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Cytori Therapeutics Inc, San Diego, CA, USA. Electronic address:
Cytori Therapeutics Inc, San Diego, CA, USA.
Absorption Systems, San Diego, CA, USA.
UCSD Medical Center, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA.



A number of studies have reported that application of autologous adipose-derived cell populations leads to improved outcome in different preclinical models of thermal burn injury. However, these studies were limited to assessment of relatively small injuries amounting to only ∼2% of total body surface area (TBSA) in which the complications associated with large burns (e.g.: systemic inflammation and the need for fluid resuscitation) are absent. In anticipation of translating this approach to a clinical trial in which these complications would be present we applied a preclinical model that more closely resembles a patient with large thermal burn injury requiring skin grafting. Thus, the present study used a porcine model to investigate safety and efficacy of intravenous delivery of ADRCs in the treatment of a complex burn injury comprising ∼20% TBSA and including both moderately deep (44%) partial and full thickness burns, and the injury associated with skin graft harvest.


Two pairs of full thickness and partial thickness burns involving in total ∼20% TBSA were created on the back of Yorkshire pigs (n=15). Three days post-burn, full thickness wounds were excised and grafted with a 3:1 meshed autologous split thickness skin graft (STSG). Partial thickness wounds were not treated other than with dressings. Animals were then randomized to receive intravenous delivery of ADRCs (n=8) or vehicle control (n=7). Safety was assessed by monitoring systemic parameters (blood gases, hematology, and clinical chemistry) throughout the course of the study. Wound healing for both types of burn wound and for the skin graft donor sites was followed for 18days using wound imaging, histology, and trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL; skin barrier function assessment).


No serious adverse events related to ADRC infusion were noted in any of the animals. Delivery of ADRCs appeared to be safe with none of the systemic safety parameters worsened compared to the control group. TEWL and histological analyses revealed that ADRC treatment was associated with significantly accelerated healing of skin graft (27.1% vs. 1.1% on Day 5 post-grafting), donor site (52.8% vs. 33.1% on Day 5 post-excision) and partial thickness burn (81.8% vs. 59.8% on Day 18 post-treatment). Data also suggested that ADRC treatment improved parameters associated with skin graft elasticity.


This study demonstrated that intravenous delivery of autologous ADRCs appears to be a safe and feasible approach to the treatment of large burns and supports the use of ADRCs as an adjunct therapy to skin grafting in patients with severe burns.


Adipose-derived regenerative cells; Burn wound healing; Donor site healing; Porcine burn model; Stem cells; Stromal vascular fraction

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