Fat University

All About Adipose

What is Adipose?

Adipose tissue – also known as body fat – is found all over the body. It can be found under the skin (subcutaneous fat), packed around internal organs (visceral fat), between muscles, within bone marrow, and in breast tissue. It is the loose connective tissue that fills up the space between organs and tissues, and provides structural, metabolic, and regenerative support.

Interestingly, fat is the largest reservoir for adult stem cells in the human body. In fact, the adipose tissue complex is comprised of a rich subset of reparative cells, growth factors, cytokines, preadipocytes, fibroblasts, endothelial cells, stromal cells, and extra cellular matrix, to name a few 

Many tissues in the body contain stem cells, such as bone marrow, muscles, skin, blood, etc. However, fat contains 500-2500 times more mesenchymal stem cells (MSC’s) in 1 gram of tissue compared to 1 gram of bone marrow.

What Can Fat Do?

Fat is the largest reservoir of adult stem cells

Stores energy in the form of lipids

Cushions and insulates our organs

Regulates our body temperature

Produces hormones that influence metabolic activity in other organ systems

Plays a major role in wound healing

Contains a multitude of regenerative cells that play a vital in repairing damaged or diseased tissue

Fat For Healing

The healing power of fat was first noticed by surgeons who were confronted with managing the terrible disfigurements of World War I soldiers returning home from battle. These surgeons began transplanting fat into the wounds to promote the healing process and to correct uneven scars from gunshot wounds.

Fat is the ideal tissue source for autologous cellular therapies because not only does it come from our own bodies, but it is abundant in quantity, safe, and easy to harvest. The process of harvesting, purifying, processing, and reinjecting fat is known as fat transfer or fat grafting, a procedure that is commonly used in numerous regenerative aesthetic, reconstructive, and orthobiologic therapies, as well as in wound care.

Fat Facts

– Fat is the second largest organ in the human body (skin is #1)

– Fat is the largest microvascular network in the human body

– Fat is the largest reservoir of adult stem cells

– Fat communicates with organs all throughout the body

– It is hypothesized that the small population of MSCs derived from bone marrow come from adipose tissue deposits in the bone

– Fat possesses 500x-2500x more MSCs per ml compared to bone marrow