Adipose tissue is an attractive source of multipotent adult stem cells due to its wide-spread availability, accessibility, and ease of harvest. Adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs), the adherent stromal cell population present within adipose tissue, are easily expanded in culture, able to differentiate along multiple cell-lineage pathways, and have been shown to provide therapeutic benefit in models of injury and disease through immunomodulation, structural integation, and/or trophic support. Recent developments in the characterization of ASCs, specifically their isolation, gene and protein expression, differentiation, and expansion, are reviewed in this article.
Characterization, isolation, donor variability, expansion, adipose-derived stem cell, stromal cell
Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 800376, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.