Biomaterials Translational ›› 2021, Vol. 2 ›› Issue (4): 301-306.doi: 10.12336/biomatertransl.2021.04.005

• REVIEW • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Adipose-derived cells: building blocks of three-dimensional microphysiological systems

Trivia P. Frazier1,*(), Katie Hamel1, Xiying Wu1, Emma Rogers1, Haley Lassiter1, Jordan Robinson1, Omair Mohiuddin2, Michael Henderson1, Jeffrey M. Gimble1   

  1. 1 Obatala Sciences Inc., New Orleans, LA, USA
    2 Dr. Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research, International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan
  • Received:2021-11-05 Revised:2021-12-15 Accepted:2021-12-20 Online:2021-12-28 Published:2021-12-28
  • Contact: Trivia P. Frazier E-mail:trivia.frazier@obatalasciences.com
  • About author:Trivia Frazier, trivia.frazier@obatalasciences.com.


Microphysiological systems (MPS) created with human-derived cells and biomaterial scaffolds offer a potential in vitro alternative to in vivo animal models. The adoption of three-dimensional MPS models has economic, ethical, regulatory, and scientific implications for the fields of regenerative medicine, metabolism/obesity, oncology, and pharmaceutical drug discovery. Key opinion leaders acknowledge that MPS tools are uniquely positioned to aid in the objective to reduce, refine, and eventually replace animal experimentation while improving the accuracy of the finding’s clinical translation. Adipose tissue has proven to be an accessible and available source of human-derived stromal vascular fraction (SVF) cells, a heterogeneous population available at point of care, and adipose-derived stromal/stem cells, a relatively homogeneous population requiring plastic adherence and culture expansion of the SVF cells. The adipose-derived stromal/stem cells or SVF cells, in combination with human tissue or synthetic biomaterial scaffolds, can be maintained for extended culture periods as three-dimensional MPS models under angiogenic, stromal, adipogenic, or osteogenic conditions. This review highlights recent literature relating to the versatile use of adipose-derived cells as fundamental components of three-dimensional MPS models for discovery research and development. In this context, it compares the merits and limitations of the adipose-derived stromal/stem cells relative to SVF cell models and considers the likely directions that this emerging field of scientific discovery will take in the near future.

Key words: adipose-derived stromal/stem cells, extracellular matrix, Food and Drug Administration, microphysiological systems, stromal vascular fraction cells, three dimensional