Reconstructive surgery is performed on abnormal or damaged soft tissues, caused by trauma, burns, congenital defects, tumours or disease. Damage to the underlying fatty tissues results in scar tissue formation and deformity, as well as the potential for reduced mobility if the injury occurs near a joint. The general aim in the clinic is to rebuild the affected tissues, and by doing so, to recover or improve function. Relevant clinical procedures include the revision of scar tissue from burns or trauma, laceration repair, the reconstruction of the breast after mastectomy or lumpectomy, and the restoration of the normal body structure following the removal of sarcomas or skin cancers. Since adipose tissue comprises the bulk of the adult tissues treated in these reconstructive approaches, the importance of vascularized fat in the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery is well established. Soft tissue engineering holds great promise for the improvement of standard reconstructive methodologies. In this context, two main approaches have arisen, which can be employed individually or in combination: (i) cell-based therapies and (ii) biologically compatible tissue scaffolds. This review provides a brief description of recent patents and findings in soft tissue regeneration for plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Keywords: Adipose tissue, cell therapy, plastic and reconstructive surgery, scaffolds, stem cells, tissue engineering, volume augmentation, wound healing, Reconstructive surgery, trauma, congenital defects, mastectom, lumpectomy, sarcomas, mesenchymal stem cells, embryonic stem cells, pluripotent stem cells, adipose-derived stem cells, cytometry, osteogenic, chondrogenic, neurogenic, adipogenic lineages, retinoic acid, isobutylmethylxanthine, dexamethasone, glucocorticoid, Keratinocytes, leukemia inhibitory factor, mammoplasty, abdominoplasty, polydactylism, hepatocyte growth factor, adipogenesis, panniculectomy, lipoaspirates, polyethylene glycol diacrylate, hydrogel, glycosaminoglycans, Integra, Alloderm, Strattice