Biological Medicine – Review of Translation

June 04,2018

Macquarie Stem Cells has provided this information to educate the public based on peer reviewed, published scientific and medical documents. We don’t aim to encourage consumers to seek out such treatments prior to an assessment by a health professional to determine your suitability for treatment. This is obtained directly from NCBI Pubmed Literature. There were no financial sponsors identified for this study. We aim to provide you with an unbiased range of treatments that are available aside from biological therapy, this is discussed in ‘supporting information>other-options’ page on our website


  • Biological treatments have a huge regenerative and therapeutic potential.
  • Body fat is superior to bone marrow for the purposes of regenerative medicine.
  • Enzyme separation is the most common method of performing biological separation.
  • Automated separation of biological products are required.
  • We need to develop further technologies to fully understand how these treatments work.
  • Guidelines from regulatory bodies are very important to follow.
  • Combining biological treatments with up coming technologies will jump-start other areas of clinical and commercial developments.


TITLE: Adipose tissue-derived stromal vascular fraction in regenerative medicine: a brief review on biology and translation (Bora P. et al., 2017)

Published: 15th June 2017
Stem Cell Research Therapy Journal


“Adipose-derived stem/stromal cells (ADSCs) were first characterised in 2001, and have since been widely studied and used as a major source of cells with regenerative potential, with characteristics similar to that of mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs). ADSCs are isolated as part of the aqueous fraction derived from enzymatic digestion of lipoaspirate (the product of liposuction). This aqueous fraction, a combination of ADSCs, endothelial precursor cells (EPCs), endothelial cells (ECs), macrophages, smooth muscle cells, lymphocytes, pericytes, and pre-adipocytes among others, is what is known as the stromal vascular fraction (SVF).” (Bora P. et al., 2017)

“Adipose-derived stem cells, like mesenchymal stem cells, have shown promise in regenerative and reconstructive medicine. Recent advances in the area of tissue regeneration have put SVF on a par and at times even above Adipose-derived stem cells.” (Bora P. et al., 2017)

“Despite the potential of SVF in regenerative medicine there are challenges to overcome. First is isolation of SVF, which needs a specialised infrastructure such as a clean room facility, equipment, reagents, and technical capabilities. These conditions limit the reach of SVF to only major hospitals in tier 1/2 cities, especially in a country such as India. In this regard, the up and coming point-of-care biomedical devices which can take lipoaspirate as their input and produce sterile, injectable SVF as output will be beneficial. Secondly, the method of isolating SVF is a vital roadblock in the approved use of SVF for therapeutic applications. Digestion of lipoaspirate is achieved by collagenase, and the presence of collagenase in the injectable product does not bode well with regulatory authorities such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Consequently, alternative methods are being explored with some encouraging outcomes. Finally, characterisation of the regenerative cells of SVF has not reached a wide consensus.” (Bora P. et al., 2017)

Isolation of SVF

Enzymatic isolation of SVF

“The most widely used technique for the isolation of SVF from lipoaspirate is by digestion of the fatty portion of the lipoaspirate with collagenase, separating the contents into two distinct phases: the floating mature adipocytes fraction, and the cellular components of interest in the lower aqueous fraction. This separation can be enhanced by centrifugation; nevertheless, comparable separation can be achieved by gravity-based phase separation and filtration. Although centrifugation is more efficient, it will also pellet down all the cells present, while filtration can be designed to capture only the important cell types based on size, thus enriching the specific cellular cocktail.” (Bora P. et al., 2017)

“Centrifugation of the aqueous fraction yields a reddish pellet which contains SVF cells. Erythrocytes, a major contaminant present in the SVF pellet, can be lysed to isolate a purer population of adipose-derived stem cells and/or SVF cells if intended for in vitro expansion.” (Bora P. et al., 2017)

Non-enzymatic isolation of SVF

“In view of the regulatory questions relating to enzymatic isolation, it is important to look into alternative methods for isolating SVF and compare these with the conventional methods. Most of these techniques involve mechanical agitation which breaks down the adipose tissue and releases the stromal cells. As expected, the cellular yield from mechanical procedures are much lower compared to enzymatic methods, as cells of the adipose tissue tightly bound by collagen will not be easily released by mechanical action alone” (Bora P. et al., 2017)

Automated devices for point-of-care isolation of SVF

“The infrastructure, expertise, and consumables required for the conventional method of SVF isolation is not commonplace in most health-care facilities. Cosmetic surgery, being at the upper-end of medical expenditure, is the largest consumer of SVF and related products, but the actual scope is much wider. Thus, it is unfortunate that the benefits of this very simple technology have not reached full potential. This gap can be overcome by automated, point-of-care biomedical devices, which can produce injectable SVF from lipoaspirate.” (Bora P. et al., 2017)



“Mesenchymal stem cells have been long known for their remarkable properties when it comes to regeneration and therapeutic potential. Adipose-derived stem cells are possibly the easiest to isolate among all the different types of mesenchymal stem cells in an adult human and in relative abundance too; up to 500 times more stem/stromal cells per gram as compared to a bone marrow source. Simply put, adipose-derived stem cells are potentially the most abundant regenerative cells in the human body and SVF is a step in the protocol to isolate adipose-derived stem cells. As has been repeatedly mentioned in this review, the potential for use of both SVF and adipose-derived stem cells in regenerative medicine are immense. However, care must be taken to go about it without harming the intended beneficiary, that is the patients and public in general. Guidelines, such as the ones from US FDA and their counterparts elsewhere will be important parameters in judging new therapies and technologies being developed, and we ought to keep abreast of such issues. Technology development is the single most important factor to realise the full potential of any new therapy, and SVF-based therapy is no exception. At the same time, it is evident that we need a better understanding of SVF and adipose-derived stem cells biology. This is a continuous endeavour and will only help to better establish the core principles and mechanisms of SVF- and adipose-derived stem cells-based therapies. In the process, we are likely to discover newer applications apart from the plethora already identified. Combining these therapies with other technologies such as decellularised or three-dimensional printed scaffolds with the aim of transplantation will jump-start other areas of clinical and commercial developments.” (Bora P. et al., 2017)


REF: Bora, P. and Majumdar, A. (2017). Adipose tissue-derived stromal vascular fraction in regenerative medicine: a brief review on biology and translation. Stem Cell Research & Therapy, 8(1).

TAGS: Macquarie Stem Cells, Dr. Ralph Bright, Medical Research, Biological Therapy Translation, Biological treatment, Macquarie Stem Cells biology therapy


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