The use of adipose as stem cell source for tissue engineering provides a rich portfolio of research experiences for the Department of Plastic Surgery. For instance, the current research interests of Kathryn Davis, Ph.D., include an exploration of the use of adipose and respective-derived stem cells as a tool for soft tissue reconstruction. An important aspect of ongoing studies is to investigate the adipose depot-specific characteristics of whole lipoaspirate, adipocytes and adipose derived stem cells.
Moreover, current investigations into how different types of delivery systems (no scaffolding, natural fat scaffolding, stem cells alone, etc) for adipose tissue derived cells can effect outcome measure, such as repair of soft tissue loss, thermal injuries, diabetic injuries. These studies are underway to ultimately develop new wound care strategies.
Other ongoing research at the Department of Plastic Surgery in the area of wound healing includes: