Naturally Adipose Stromal Cell-Enriched Fat Graft: Comparative Polychromatic Flow Cytometry Study of Fat Harvested by Barbed or Blunt Multihole Cannula

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Fat grafts enriched with cells of the stromal vascular fraction (SVF), especially adipose-derived stromal cells (ASCs), exhibit significantly improved retention over non enriched, plain fat. Different types of liposuction cannulae may yield lipoaspirates with different subpopulations of cells. Moreover, preparation of adipose tissue for transplantation typically involves centrifugation, which creates a density gradient of fat.


The authors sought to determine whether liposuction with a barbed or smooth cannula altered the enrichment of the SVF, and specifically ASCs, in low-density (LD) and high-density (HD) fractions of centrifuged adipose tissue.


Fat was harvested from 2 abdominal sites of 5 healthy women with a barbed or smooth multihole blunt-end cannula. After centrifugation, LD and HD fat fractions were digested with collagenase and analyzed by polychromatic flow cytometry to identify and enumerate distinct populations of cells.


Overall cell yield and the number of immune cells were consistently higher in HD fractions than in LD fractions, regardless of the cannula employed. More living cells, and specifically more ASCs, populated the HD fractions of lipoaspirates obtained with a barbed cannula than with a smooth cannula.


In this study, lipoaspiration with a barbed cannula and isolation of the HD layer of centrifuged adipose tissue yielded maximal amounts of SVF cells, including ASCs.

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