Buccal fat pad, an oral access source of human adipose stem cells with potential for osteochondral tissue engineering: an in vitro study

Author(s): Farre-Guasch E, Marti-Page C, Hernadez-Alfaro F, Klein-Nulend J,Casals N

Abstract

Stem cells offer an interesting tool for tissue engineering, but the clinical applications are limited by donor-site morbidity and low cell number upon harvest. Recent studies have identified an abundant source of stem cells in subcutaneous adipose tissue. Adipose stem cells (ASCs) present in adipose tissue are able to differentiate to several lineages and express multiple growth factors, which makes them suitable for clinical application. Buccal fat pad (BFP), an adipose-encapsulated mass found in the oral cavity, could represent an easy access source for dentists and oral surgeons. The stromal vascular fraction obtained from fresh BFP-derived adipose tissue and passaged ASCs were analyzed to detect and quantify the percentage of ASCs in this tissue. Here we show that BFP contains a population of stem cells that share a similar phenotype with ASCs from abdominal subcutaneous fat tissue, and are also able to differentiate into the chondrogenic, adipogenic, and osteogenic lineage. These results define BFP as a new, rich, and accessible source of ASCs for tissue engineering purposes.

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