No other organ that the adipose organ has been more widely debated on an emotional, cultural, artistic, socio-economical and medical level. The derivation of the terms "adipose" and "lipid" originate, respectively, from the Latin "adeps" and the Greek "lips" for fat. Adipose tissue is present in all mammalian species and is the only tissue in the body that can markedly change its mass after adult size is reached. Fat mass can range from 2 to 3 % of body weight in well conditioned athletes to 60 - 70 % of body weight in obese individuals. Normal values for fat mass are 9 -18 % in males and 14 -28 % in females. In obesity, fat mass exceeds 22 % of body weight in males, 32 % in females.
WHAT IS FAT?
the adipose organ
The combination of various adipose tissue depots in a given organism has been referred to as the "adipose organ". Adipose tissue is one of the major components, perhaps the most important, that are used to restore soft tissue defects. It covers neuromuscular structures (blood vessels and nerves), protects tendons and muscles, harbors lymphatic vessels and nodes, preserves thermoregulation and endocrinological homeostasis and defines somebody's body contour.
"the size of an almond"
The first use of free fat grafts in humans was by the German surgeon Gustav Adolf Neuber in 1893, in which several small grafts were used to fill a soft tissue depression in the face in a 20 year old man. Neuber mentioned he had less success when he tried to use large grafts saying that "grafts larger than an almond would not give good results".
Lipofilling is a surgical technique that uses liposuction to take fat from other parts of the body and injects it to a specific area for aesthetic or reconstructive purposes. The idea of lipofilling or fat transfer is not new, but it has seen a resurgence in recent years because of better results and better instruments. Several groups of plastic surgery researchers have been reporting promising results and we do know more about the behavior of fat grafts in the human body. However, relatively low survival of the transplanted fat has been a limiting factor but the results have been improving due to ongoing research and clinical refinements.
WHAT IS LIPOFILLING?
THE FAT CELL
WHAT KIND OF CELLS CAN BE FOUND IN FAT?
The majority of the cells within fat tissue are adipocytes or fat cells. However, there is a second cell fraction within fat which is called the stomal-vascular fraction (SVF). This SVF contains a very heterogeneous cell population (blood cells, vascular cells, stem cells,...). Researchers have discovered a stem cell population within adipose tissue. This population is called the adipose derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADMSC).
Fat is a connective tissue derived from the mesoderm. It plays an important role in the metabolism of our body and secretes a variety of important molecules and hormones. Fat is found in the intra abdominal cavity and underneath the skin; the subcutaneous tissue layers. All the fat depots within the human body are named "the adipose organ".
THE FAT CELL
THE ADIPOSE DERIVED STEM CELLS
Stem cells have been discovered "recently" in subcutaneous adipose tissue. They are called "the adipose derived mesenchymal stem cells" (ADMSC). The concentration of stem cells within adipose tissue is 400 times higher compared to bone marrow.
The advantage of stem cells within adipose tissue is that they are easily accessible for clinical applications as well as tissue engineering applications. They are a promising population of cells to be used in regenerative medicine.
THE FAT CELL
WHAT IS A FAT CELL?
A fat cell or adipocyte is a very dynamic cell. It stores energy and releases energy during starvation. The majority of the cell is filled with a big droplet of oil that pushes the core of the cell against the wall of the cell. It looks like a "signet ring". The fat cell can increase its volume 400 times...
The adipocyte is a very fascinating cell. It is a very active cell and is responsible for our energy storage and thermoregulation. It is highly vascularized as well.