Globally, autologous stem cell-based medical aesthetic treatments are becoming all the rage; their minimally invasive procedures require less downtime and have shown to produce more effective and natural results.

Arguably, the revolution in adipose derived mesenchymal stem cell (AdMSC) based therapy began with medical aesthetics; and increasingly, the use of these stem cells is starting to replace more invasive surgery.

How you can use your own AdMSCs for aesthetic purposes

As a result, the technology has allowed reparative and preventative strategies to be developed with AdMSC-based therapy to support:

Wrinkle amelioration
Scar remodelling
Fat filler autografts
Hair loss treatments
Pigmentation disorders
Skin architecture quality

All of these regenerative therapeutic strategies are based on stem cells from your own fat. Stromal vascular fraction (SVF) and pure AdMSC are typically employed by physicians.

SVF is rich in MSC and contains ±10% of these cells along with other cells found in adipose. Pure AdMSC is an isolated and characterised population of these stem cells.

Deep wrinkles occur due to elastin degradation. A surgical facelift or botulinum toxin can transiently mask the appearance of deep wrinkles, but do not address the cause. All of the cosmetic topicals do just one thing – whether a discounted face cream or a costly anti-aging serum – they plump the dead skin surface cells with water molecules; and in doing so, wick-away your natural moisturising factor.

Ideal advice for an ‘anti-wrinkle’ moisturiser would be to choose a basic product that ‘feels good’ on your skin; but critically, a product that contains a sufficient UV blocking component.

In order to address deep wrinkles it’s necessary to asymmetrically break-down the degraded elastin in your skin for it to be regenerated by your cells. This means a course of needling or a pin-hole laser procedures with an aesthetic practitioner. Both rely on a ‘wound healing cascade’ to rebuild elastin.

PRP can be used in an effort to reduce inflammation post-procedure. Alternatively, an AdMSC based therapy can be used by the physician both as a powerful anti-inflammatory to reduce downtime; but to speed the rate of wound healing and quality of tissue architecture remodelling.

Example: 81 year-old skin tissue remodelling

We resolved and remodelled eight-years of skin tissue damage within 49 days.

81-year-old patient. Main (venous ulcer) wound 40mm x 35mm (14cm²). Pain score of 0/10 after 87 days. High tissue remodelling quality without scar fibrosis.

Above is an example of autologous AdMSC based therapy in chronic wound healing that highlights the speed of healing and quality of skin tissue architecture remodelling quality that’s possible even for an octogenarian.

The edges of a chronic wound are typically characterised by thick fibrotic scar tissue. Fibrosis is common to all scars and occur when there’s an ‘overload’ on the supporting tissue architecture to address the level and extent of wound damage.

Many scars can be remodelled and softened by a combination of medical aesthetic wound healing techniques (such as needling) along with an adjunctive AdMSC based therapeutic treatment.

Aesthetic physicians re-inject patient’s fat as a more natural and permanent method to enhance their facial fullness, fill creases or build-up shallow contours. This is a departure from the ‘off the shelf’ fillers that last a few weeks before they’re broken-down and expelled by the body.

Fat autografts are also employed for much larger aesthetic contouring procedures, including the breasts and buttocks.

In an autograft procedure fat is processed into emulsified fat (‘nano fat’ or ‘micro fat’) to give the filler injectability and the required plasticity for modelling.

Repeats of fat filler procedures maybe necessary as emulsified fat has to re-develop a scaffold (extracellular matrix) and blood supply (angiogenesis) to survive. Without an AdMSC adjunctive therapy only ±50% of fat injected will survive.

What can be achieved with fat filler autografts:

Restore definition to the nose and volume around the eyes, and in doing so address deep wrinkles

Use the slider to see before and after

Adding an AdMSC based therapy to the autograft procedure provides the autograft additional tools for developing a graft scaffold and blood supply. This reduces the potential need for repeats and makes filler results more predictable. Alongside this procedure the other benefits of AdMSC based therapy can be achieved such as reduced downtime and superior skin remodelling.

Harnessing the regenerative capacity of AdMSC has created new opportunities to develop cell-based therapies for patients from acne and dermatitis, to autoimmune skin disorders. Of much interest has been recent work including topical applications for psoriasis vulgaris.

An advantage of topical AdMSC based therapies is that in certain circumstances they can penetrate the surface payer of the stratum corneum down to the basal layer. There is good reason to believe that in the nearer future AdMSC based topicals will become standard to dermatological therapy.