Extracellular Vesicles as Inter-Cellular Communicators in Fat Graft Retention

Breast reconstruction is an important part of the treatment process for women with breast cancer. Recently, fat grafting has become a popular option for reconstruction because it uses natural tissue from the woman’s own body and has a low surgical risk. Unfortunately, the ability to reconstruct a whole breast is difficult because up to 70% of the fat injected into the chest wall will be lost. This is largely due to a failure of the grafted tissue to integrate into the local cellular environment that it is placed in. Membrane-bound packages called extracellular vesicles (EVs) act as a type of inter-cellular communication system that can signal cells to survive and grow. This project will investigate the ability of EVs released from adipose derived stem cells to aid with fat graft survival and ultimately improve fat graft retention.

HOST INVESTIGATOR: University of Otago