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Aesthet Surg J. 2016 Sep;36(8):941-51. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjw049. Epub 2016 May 31.

The Effect of Lipoaspirates on Human Keratinocytes.

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Dr Kim is a Resident, Mr Gaul is a Medical Student, Dr Paul is a Postdoctoral Researcher, Dr Stromps is an Attending, Dr Nourbakhsh is a Senior Scientist, Prof Rennekampff is a Senior Attending, and Prof Pallua is the Director, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Hand Surgery - Burn Center, Medical Faculty; and Dr Kim is also a Visiting Scientist, Mr Dewor is a Research Associate, and Prof Bernhagen is a Principal Investigator, Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany. Dr Hwang is a Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Immunology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA. Prof Bernhagen is also Principal Investigator, Vascular Biology, Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research, Klinikum der Universität München, Ludwig-Maximilians-University; and the Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (SyNergy), Munich, Germany.



One increasingly important trend in plastic, reconstructive, and aesthetic surgery is the use of fat grafts to improve cutaneous wound healing. In clinical practice, lipoaspirates (adipose tissue harvested by liposuction) are re-injected in a procedure called lipofilling. Previous studies, however, mainly evaluated the regenerative effect of isolated adipocytes, adipose-derived stem cells, and excised en bloc adipose tissue on keratinocytes, whereas no study to date has examined the effect of lipoaspirates.


The authors aimed to investigate differences in the regenerative property of en bloc adipose tissue and lipoaspirates on keratinocytes.


Human keratinocytes, lipoaspirates, and en bloc adipose tissue from 36 healthy donors were isolated. In vitro proliferation, differentiation, migration, stratification, and wound healing of keratinocyte monolayers were measured. Furthermore, secreted levels of VEGF, bFGF, IGF-1, MMP-9, and MIF were detected by ELISA.


Migration, proliferation, and wound healing of keratinocytes were increased by lipoaspirates. Interestingly, the effect of lipoaspirates on keratinocyte proliferation was significantly higher than by en bloc adipose tissue after 5 days. The differentiation of keratinocytes was equally attenuated by lipoaspirates and en bloc adipose tissue. Stratification of keratinocyte layers was enhanced by lipoaspirates and en bloc fat when compared to controls. Lipoaspirates secrete higher levels of bFGF, whereas higher levels of VEGF and IGF-1 are released by en bloc adipose tissue.


We show that lipoaspirates and en bloc adipose tissue have a regenerative effect on keratinocytes. One reason for the higher effect of lipoaspirates on keratinocyte proliferation may be the secretion of different cytokines.

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