Establishing the adipose stem cell identity: Characterization assays and functional properties

Mark A.A. Harrison, Sara I. Al-Ghadban, Benjamen T. O’Donnell, Omair A. Mohiuddin, Rachel M. Wise, Brianne N. Sullivan, Bruce A. Bunnell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Due to their significant therapeutic potential, adipose stem cells (ASCs) have become the focus of intense of preclinical and clinical research. Characterization of ASCs that is both comprehensive and well standardized is essential for the successful progression of the regenerative medicine field. This chapter provides a detailed outline of the in vitro assays commonly employed for the characterization of ASCs, including flow cytometric assessments of surface markers, self-renewal, and multipotent differentiation. An in-depth examination of adipogenic, osteogenic, and chondrogenic differentiation is covered, including signaling pathways, methodology, and confirmation assays. Furthermore, ASCs possess significant immunomodulatory abilities that make them ideal therapeutic tools. This chapter defines the influence of ASCs on immune cell populations in vitro, including paracrine and cell contact-dependent mechanisms, and summarizes the assays used to quantify this immunoregulation. Research on ASCs is a rapidly evolving field. Rigorous characterization standards, as recommended by the International Federation of Adipose Therapeutics and Sciences (IFATS) and others, must be adopted and maintained by researchers to promote high-impact research, reproducibility, effective collaborations, and acceleration of scientific discoveries in regenerative medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationScientific Principles of Adipose Stem Cells
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9780128193761
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Adipogenesis
  • Adipose stem cells
  • Characterization
  • Chondrogenesis
  • Differentiation
  • Immunomodulation
  • In Vitro
  • Osteogenesis


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