Preparation and Characterization of Human Adipose Tissue-Derived Extracellular Matrix, Growth Factors, and Stem Cells: A Concise Review

  • So Young Chun
  • Jeong Ok Lim
  • Eun Hye Lee
  • Man-Hoon Han
  • Yun-Sok Ha
  • Jun Nyung Lee
  • Bum Soo Kim
  • Min Jeong Park
  • MyungGu Yeo
  • Bongsu JungEmail author
  • Tae Gyun KwonEmail author
Review Article



Human adipose tissue is routinely discarded as medical waste. However, this tissue may have valuable clinical applications since methods have been devised to effectively isolate adipose-derived extracellular matrix (ECM), growth factors (GFs), and stem cells. In this review, we analyze the literature that devised these methods and then suggest an optimal method based on their characterization results.


Methods that we analyze in this article include: extraction of adipose tissue, decellularization, confirmation of decellularization, identification of residual active ingredients (ECM, GFs, and cells), removal of immunogens, and comparing structural/physiological/biochemical characteristics of active ingredients.


Human adipose ECMs are composed of collagen type I–VII, laminin, fibronectin, elastin, and glycosaminoglycan (GAG). GFs immobilized in GAG include basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), transforming growth factor beta 1(TGF-b1), insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), BMP4 (bone morphogenetic protein 4), nerve growth factor (NGF), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), and epithermal growth factor (EGF). Stem cells in the stromal-vascular fraction display mesenchymal markers, self-renewal gene expression, and multi-differentiation potential.


Depending on the preparation method, the volume, biological activity, and physical properties of ECM, GFs, and adipose tissue-derived cells can vary. Thus, the optimal preparation method is dependent on the intended application of the adipose tissue-derived products.


Human adipose tissue Extracellular matrix Growth factors Adipose-derived stem cell Optimum method 



This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) and funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (2014M3A9D3034164), (2016R1C1B1011180), (2018R1C1B5040264) (2019R1A2C1004046), and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), Korea, under the “Regional Industry Infrastructure and R&D Support Program” (R0005886) supervised by the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT), and 2017–2019 Medical Cluster R&D Support Project through Daegu Gyeongbuk Medical Innovation Foundation funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, the Republic of Korea (HI16C2505).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical statement

There are no animal experiments carried out for this article.


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Copyright information

© The Korean Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BioMedical Research Institute, Joint Institute for Regenerative MedicineKyungpook National University HospitalDaeguRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Pathology, School of MedicineKyungpook National UniversityDaeguRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Urology, School of MedicineKyungpook National UniversityDaeguRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Medical Device Development CenterDaegu-Gyeongbuk Medical Innovation Foundation (DGMIF)DaeguRepublic of Korea
  5. 5.Department of UrologyKyungpook National University Chilgok HospitalDaeguRepublic of Korea

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