We've been hearing a lot of late about the use of fat as a better source of adult stem cells (better in comparison to bone marrow, that is, and at the very least more easily harvested). PittsburghLive is printing a great introductory article for those of you interested in this branch of stem cell research. "It is known that there are progenitor cells within fat tissue that have the potential to differentiate, or be induced to become, mature fat cells and other cell types. These stem cells are there to heal the body so they could have many great clinical applications. ... Marra, Rubin and their colleagues are working on several projects to investigate the potential of fat-derived stem cells to aid in bone and nerve repair, as well as soft tissue regeneration."
As reported by Medical News Today, there is a growing level of interest in the process of obtaining adult stem cells from fat tissue. "Research has indicated [fat]-derived stem cells can be coaxed into bone, nerve, cartilage and endothelial cells." Reliably identifying and isolating stem cells from fat will provide a better source of adult stem cells for some of the regenerative therapies currently in human and laboratory trials. Obtaining stem cells from fat tissue is much less onerous and invasive than working with bone marrow stem cells; fat-extracting techniques (like liposuction) are more quickly and easily performed. This seems like a good step forward.