Free fat grafts from liposuction aspirate can be used as donor material for soft-tissue augmentation. The purpose of this study was to attempt to identify a subpopulation of adipose cells within liposuction aspirate with the greatest viability and, it is hoped, a greater chance for increased survival after transplantation. Liposuction samples were obtained from 20 individuals (16 women, four men; age range, 27 to 49 years). These samples were then centrifuged at 50g. At 2-minute intervals, specimens from three different areas (superficial, middle, deep) were obtained from each specimen. After collagenase degradation, the specimens were stained with trypan blue, and the number of viable cells were counted. The bottom (deepest) layer consistently contained the highest number of viable cells after centrifugation: 250 percent more viable cells when compared with the top layer (p
< 0.0001) and 140 percent more viable cells when compared with the middle layer (p
< 0.0002). Centrifugation beyond 2 minutes did not increase the number or proportion of viable adipocytes. When using aspirated fat from liposuction for soft-tissue augmentation, centrifugation for 2 minutes at 50g will stratify the adipocytes, with more viable cells being found at the deepest layer. Using only this bottom portion of the fat layer for transplantation will yield a fat graft with a greater number of viable adipocytes, potentially improving fat graft survival and decreased fat graft resorption. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg.
109: 761, 2002.)