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The Impact of Harvesting Systems and Donor Characteristics on Viability of Nucleated Cells in Adipose Tissue

A First Step Towards a Manufacturing Process

Papadopulos, Nikolaos A., MD, PhD*,†; Wigand, Sylvia, MD*; Kuntz, Nicolas, MD*; Piringer, Marion, MD*; Machens, Hans-Günther, MD, PhD*; Klüter, Harald, MD, PhD; Bieback, Karen, PhD; Karagianni, Marianna, MD

Journal of Craniofacial Surgery: May 2019 - Volume 30 - Issue 3 - p 716–720
doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000005310
Original Articles

Adipose tissue contains an abundant population of mesenchymal stromal cells (= adipose stromal cells [ASC]) with multilineage differentiation, immunomodulatory and trophic potential promising for cell-based therapies. Although intensely investigated in pre- and clinical studies, little is known about the impact of donor characteristics on the viability of ASC. To correlate patient data to the quality of processed adipose tissue and to establish a first step towards a manufacturing process for cell therapy, we evaluated the effects of 2 harvesting systems (LipiVage, TTF-System) and donor characteristics on cell viability of nucleated cells in a cohort of 44 samples obtained from 17 donors.

The impact of donor-specific factors (localization, age, body-mass-index, chronic diseases, intake of drugs, nicotine consumption or disorders of the thyroid gland) and the harvesting system on nucleated cell (NC) counts and viability of processed lipoaspirates were statistically analyzed.

Increasing age has a significant positive influence on NC viability (P = 0.001). Donors with intake of thyroid hormones based on a hypothyroidism and suctioned with the LipiVage-System reached a significantly higher viability of NC (P = 0.038). No statistical difference was shown between the 2 harvesting-systems (P = 0.338) and the donor sites (P = 0.294).

We focused on a potential correlation between NC viability and donor characteristics. Based on the donor cohort investigated in this study, cells from elderly patients suctioned with the LipiVage-System and taking thyroid hormones yielded cells of higher viability, suggesting an improved quality for subsequent manufacturing procedures. Further investigations are necessary to understand and correlate this data to ASC in vitro characteristics.

*Department of Plastic Surgery & Hand Surgery; University Hospital Rechts der Isar, Munich Technical University, Munich, Germany

Department of Plastic Surgery and Burns, Alexandroupoli University General Hospital, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupoli, Greece

Institute of Transfusion Medicine and Immunology, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University; German Red Cross Blood Donor Service Baden-Württemberg-Hessen, Mannheim, Germany.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Nikolaos A. Papadopulos, MD, PhD, Professor of Plastic Surgery, Department of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery, Munich Technical University, D- 81664 Munich, Germany; E-mail:, Department of Plastic Surgery and Burns, Democritus University of Thrace, GR-68100 Alexandroupoli, Greece; E-mail:

Received 20 November, 2018

Accepted 20 December, 2018

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2019 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD.