Stem Cells – Medicine of the Future?

Researchers see great therapeutic potential for stem cells obtained from fat tissue

Vienna (2013-12-04) — Stem cells obtained from harvested fat apparently have an almost inexhaustible potential for therapeutic applications: The treatment of joint problems and arthritis with stem cells from autologous fat is currently the subject of a study being carried out in Germany and France, and there are increasing numbers of promising reports from many other medical fields. At a congress recently held in Marseilles, European doctors and scientists reported on the use of stem cells in cases of diabetes, nerve diseases, autoimmune diseases, after heart attacks and for problems of the urinary tract.

The therapeutic effect of stem cells from fat tissue is being tested throughout Europe in clinical studies due to the possibilities it presents for improving the quality of life of patients suffering from these ailments. The EU is contributing millions towards the sponsorship of these studies, in which only a few selected patients can participate. Physicians in private practice are also working on the evaluation of stem cell therapy and are making this therapy available to a larger number of patients.

Clinic DDr. Heinrich® is currently conducting an internal method comparison on the therapeutic application of stem cells for different diseases.

“The greatest therapeutic benefits from stem cell treatment seem to be seen in chronic illnesses in their initial stages,” says DDr. Karl-Georg Heinrich, a Viennese physician working in the area of aesthetic surgery and regenerative medicine. Since 2007, he has been using stem cells from autologous fat in his Clinic DDr. Heinrich® for regenerative treatments, breast augmentation with stem cells as well as for skin rejuvenation on the face and body. “Stem cells have a remarkable potential for healing, which we must also use outside the area of aesthetic medicine to the advantage of our patients,” DDr. Heinrich notes.

A mixture of cells is obtained from the fat tissue, known as the Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF). This includes the actual stem cells and progenitor cells of the connective tissue, as well as diverse other cells. The question as to whether the regenerative effect is only attributable to the so-called mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), or to all cells that are part of SVF, is still the subject of research.

In any case, due to the large quantity of stem cells in fat tissue, multiplication of stem cells by artificial means in a laboratory is mostly unnecessary. This makes the therapeutic application of fat stem cells more simple and cost-effective than therapy with stem cells from bone marrow. Bone marrow stem cells occur in lesser quantities, and therefore usually have to be multiplied in a laboratory.

Stem cell treatment is performed on an outpatient basis using local anesthesia. Initially, a small amount of the patient’s autologous fat is gently removed by liposuction using microcannulas. The stem cells obtained therefrom are either injected directly into the area affected or administered as an infusion.

“Autologous stem cells may be the way of the future in many fields of medicine,” is how DDr. Heinrich sees the great potential for the success of stem cell therapy.

Should you be interested in participating in the internal method comparison, please contact Clinic DDr. Heinrich® at:

Clinic DDr. Heinrich®
Contact: Herfried Wagner
Phone: +43 1 532 18 01

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