New system for autologous fat transplantation brings benefits for patients and surgeons

The human med AG in Schwerin and the University of Rostock have teamed up in a joint research project aimed at developing an innovative system to obtain fatty tissue for regenerative medicine, dermatology and reconstructive surgery.

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The newly developed instruments are being used for autologous fat transplantation The newly developed instruments are being used for autologous fat transplantation

" Fatty tissue has about 500 times more stem cells than bone marrow. It is an easily available and constantly replenished source for regenerative medicine. We now have to produce small and mobile systems that meet the new therapeutic requirements of autologous fat transplantation. Our goal is the immediate and uncomplicated use of fat cells as a possible standard therapy for new clinical applications. "

Dr. Inge Matthiesen, head of Medical Affairs at human med AG

Cell biologists and researchers in microfluidics at the University of Rostock, and experts in water-jet assisted liposuction at human med AG are cooperating on the development of a mobile medical device for autologous fat transplantation. This recently discovered method offers a range of new low-impact treatments that will benefit both surgeons and patients.

New equipment for new treatments

Autologous fat transplantation has been proven to be very successful in reconstructive surgery, following accidents involving serious injuries. The method is further used to treat non-healing wounds in the elderly and in diabetic patients, and for cosmetic surgery. However, the instruments used in traditional liposuction are made to extract high quantities of fat. They are inadequate for the requirements of autologous fat transplantation, which needs smaller quantities of fatty tissue, but with a high proportion of live stem cells.

In order to produce adequate instruments, the project involves the design and experimental study of new pumps and cannulaes. A computer simulation of the water-jet-based suction calculates how the device needs to be built in order to minimise the impact on stem cells. Finally, cell biology researchers ensure that the fatty tissue obtained with the new system is suitable to be used as a transplant. The combination of expertise, resulting in a reliable and cost-efficient method of obtaining fatty tissue, drives technological progress in the field of medical science.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Joint promotion project to develop an innovative system to obtain fatty tissue for regenerative medicine, dermatology and reconstructive surgery” is EUR 1 680 000. The EU’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF) contribute EUR 1 288 000 through the “Mecklenburg-Vorpommern” Operational Programme (ERDF), priority axis 1 “Promoting innovation, research and development, education and training”, and the Federal Operational Programme for the European Social Fund (ESF), priority axis B “Improvement of human capital”, for the 2007-2013 programming period.

Draft date

29/08/2014