Does Fat (Adipose Tissue) have stem cells?

Well, yes. It turns out that the blood supply of fat, squeezed in between the fat cells, has a thin layer of vascular cells called “pericytes” that, under the right conditions, have the characteristics of stem cells. Dr. Caplan of Case Western Reserve has recently termed these cells “medicinal stromal cells”, I think to avoid any confusion (and regulatory oversight) with stem cells from other sources.  Regardless of what they are called, we have them- some of us in abundance, in the layer of abdominal fat and elsewhere. An Italian company, Lipogems, has developed a simple office procedure for gathering these cells from fat in a form to make them injectable- for example, in a knee joint. There are early anecdotal reports of tremendous pain relief (for osteoarthritis) using this technique, but I know of no formal controlled study as yet.

Please see my previous post about the FDA.  What type of oversight, if any, would the agency have over stromal cells from your own body that could be safely used (one assumes) to treat your arthritis?

doc M