The clinical application of adipose-derived stem cells is still in a very early stage. However, three important properties of ASCs have been demonstrated in scientific publications rendering them an ideal target for new therapies:

  • Anti-inflammatory effects: The inflammatory response is a natural defense mechanism of the body towards external stress. In many cases, a part of the affected tissue is necrotized and rejected. Progressive inflammation, however, can destroy entire tissues and even induce organ failure. Therefore, it is critical to recognize and control inflammation early on. The conventional treatment relies on anti-inflammatory drugs. New therapeutic approaches based on stem cells could potentially eliminate the need for medication: ASCs are recruited to the site of inflammation within the body upon administration and secrete anti-inflammatory cytokines, thus, locally managing inflammatory processes (e.g. in osteoarthritic joints or during wound healing).
  • Regeneration (cell renewal): The body’s own potential to self-regeneration of damaged tissues is limited. Though, the ability of adipose-derived stem to replace damaged tissue and organs has been demonstrated in studies worldwide. How do ASCs accomplish this task? They integrate into the impaired tissue and differentiate into the required cell type (muscle, cartilage, bone, nerve or fat cells).
  • Homing: ASCs innately migrate to sites of inflammation within the patient, as shown in recent scientific publications. Consequently, this allows the systemic administration (non-invasive infusion) of the stem cells in many disease.

Conclusion: Adipose-derived stem cells are attracted to sites of inflammation, regulate the inflammatory response and repair and replace damaged tissues. Due to these features, they are of highest value for regenerative medicine.

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