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Improvement in autologous human fat transplant survival with SVF plus VEGF–PLA nano-sustained release microspheres


  • Disclosure: None of the authors has a financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article.


Early neovascularization is important for autologous fat transplant survival. SVF cells are ideal seed cells. Both vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and SVF cells can promote neovascularization. However, the half-life (about 50 min) of VEGF is too short to sustain an adequate local concentration. We have investigated whether VEGF–polylactic acid (PLA) nano-sustained release microspheres plus SVF cells can improve neovascularization and survival of transplanted fat tissues. SVF cells were harvested and constructed VEGF–PLA nano-sustained release microspheres in vitro. Human fat tissues was mixed with SVF cells plus VEGF–PLA, SVF cells alone or Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium as the control. These three mixtures were injected into random sites in 18 nude mice. Two months later, the transplants were weighed and examined histologically; and capillaries were counted to quantify neovascularization. Hematoxylin–eosin (HE) and anti-VEGF stains were applied to reveal cell infiltration. The mean wet weight of fat in the SVF plus VEGF–PLA, SVF alone, and control transplants were 0.18 ± 0.013 g, 0.16 ± 0.015 g, and 0.071 ± 0.12 g, respectively; the differences between groups were statistically significant. More vessels were present in the SVF plus VEGF–PLA transplants than in the other two types. Transplants mixed with SVF cells also had an acceptable density of capillaries. Histological analysis revealed that both the SVF plus VEGF–PLA and SVF alone transplants, but not the control transplants, were composed of adipose tissue, and had less fat necrosis and less fibrosis than control specimens. SVF plus VEGF–PLA transplants had significantly greater capillary density and VEGF expression than the other two transplant groups. Thus transplanted fat tissue survival and quality can be enhanced by the addition of VEGF–PLA nano-sustained release microspheres plus SVF cells.