Cryopreservation of adipose tissues: The role of trehalose

Lee Li-Qun Pu, Xiangdong Cui, Betsy F. Fink, Michael L. Cibull, Dayong Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: Several studies have shown that one of the sugars, trehalose, can improve tissue survival after cryopreservation when combined with other cryoprotective agents, and thus may possibly be used in cryopreservation of adipose tissues that have been found more resistant to injury after freezing. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to test our hypothesis that lipoplasty-derived adipose aspirates could be effectively cryopreserved by adding trehalose as the sole cryoprotective agent (CPA), and to develop a practical technique to effectively preserve adipose tissues for future applications. Methods: The middle layer of adipose aspirates obtained from conventional lipoplasty was collected after centrifugation and each specimen was randomized into 3 groups: the control group, fresh adipose aspirates without preservation; the simple cryopreservation group (no CPA); and the optimal cryopreservation group (with trehalose as a CPA). Cryopreservation of adipose aspirates was conducted with controlled slow cooling and fast rewarming rates. Fresh or cryopreserved adipose aspirates in each group were evaluated by viable adipocyte counts, glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (G3PDH) assay, and routine histology. Results: More viable adipocytes and better cellular function of adipose aspirates were found in the optimal cryopreservation group compared to the simple cryopreservation group, but these results were less ideal than results from the control group. Conclusions: An optimal cryopreservation method using trehalose as a CPA appears to provide better long-term preservation of adipose aspirates than a simple cryopreservation method. Further studies are needed to refine our method for cryopreservation with trehalose as a CPA and confirm our findings in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-131
Number of pages6
JournalAesthetic Surgery Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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