Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 341–348 | Cite as

Effects of a New Centrifugation Method on Adipose Cell Viability for Autologous Fat Grafting

  • Giuseppe A. Ferraro
  • Francesco De Francesco
  • Virginia Tirino
  • Chiara Cataldo
  • Ferdinando Rossano
  • Gianfranco Nicoletti
  • Francesco D’Andrea
Original Article


The use of adipose tissue transfer in plastic and reconstructive surgery is not new and has been studied extensively. Due to different results with regard to adipose cell damage and the level of survival of the transferred tissue in clinical practice, the authors aimed to investigate the effects of centrifugation on fat aspirates to optimize the centrifugal force for fat transplantation and to obtain an increased number of intact adipose progenitor cells. The following different centrifugation forces were evaluated in vitro in terms of fat decantation: 3,000 rpm (1,500×g), 1,300 rpm (250×g), and 500 rpm (50×g). Moreover, the density level, morphology of fat cells, cell viability, and progenitor cell number also were evaluated. Centrifugation leads to a good fat tissue density, with a significant number of progenitor cells, and efficiently removes the liquid portion. High centrifugal forces (at 3,000 rpm) caused significant damage to fat cells with low cell viability, whereas very low centrifugal forces (at 500 rpm) showed little effect on adipose tissue density, resembling fat decantation. Fat aspirates, withdrawn from 30 healthy donors in vivo, were centrifuged at different rotations per minute (rpm), as follows. For the 10 patients in group A, Coleman’s technique was used with a centrifugation of the aspirated fat at 3,000 rpm (1,500×g) for 3 min. For the 10 patients in group B, the authors’ technique was used, with centrifugation of the aspirated fat at 1,300 rpm (250×g) for 5 min. For the 10 patients in group C, simple decantation of fat was used. In conclusion, a centrifugal force of 1,300 rpm resulted in better density of adipose tissue, with good cell viability and increased ability to preserve a significant number of progenitor cells.


Centrifugation Fat cell viability Fat graft Lipofilling Liposuction Stem cells 



The authors thank Gianpaolo Papaccio, Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Histology and Embryology, Second University of Naples, for his suggestions, criticisms, and laboratory technical support. The authors also thank Giuseppe Pirozzi, Department of Experimental Oncology, Section of Cellular Biology and Biotherapy, INT “Pascale,” for flow cytometry and apoptosis assays.

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no actual or potential conflict of interest including any financial, personal or other with other people or organizations.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC and International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuseppe A. Ferraro
    • 1
  • Francesco De Francesco
    • 1
  • Virginia Tirino
    • 2
  • Chiara Cataldo
    • 1
  • Ferdinando Rossano
    • 1
  • Gianfranco Nicoletti
    • 1
  • Francesco D’Andrea
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopedic, Traumatologic, Rehabilitative e Plastic-ReconstructiveSecond University of NaplesNaplesItaly
  2. 2.Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Histology and EmbryologyTESLAB, Second University of NaplesNaplesItaly

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