Arch Aesthetic Plast Surg.  2021 Jul;27(3):81-87. 10.14730/aaps.2021.00080.

Effects of low-level laser therapy and adipose-derived stem cells on the viability of autologous fat grafts: a preliminary study

  • 1Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea
  • 2Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Nowon Eulji Medical Center, Eulji University, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Pathology and Translational Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea


Autologous fat grafts are commonly used in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, and various methods are used to improve their viability. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) can enhance the proliferation, growth, and differentiation of various cell lines, including stem cells. Our study investigated and compared the effects of LLLT and the addition of adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) on the viability of fat grafts.
Twenty nude mice were divided into four groups: control (group 1), LLLT irradiation (group 2), ADSC addition (group 3), and LLLT irradiation+ADSC addition (group 4). ADSCs were combined with the fat tissue. LLLT irradiation was performed once daily for 1 week from the day of grafting. After 8 weeks, the weight, volume, histology, and Western blot findings of the grafted fat tissues were evaluated.
The retention rate and volume of the fat tissue in groups 2, 3, and 4 were higher than that of group 1, but the difference was not statistically significant. The number of capillaries, histological parameters, and immunofluorescence staining analyses for CD68, CD31, fibroblast growth factor, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) showed no significant differences among the four groups. The expression level of VEGF was higher in group 2 than in the other groups, but not to a statistically significant level.
LLLT and ADSCs did not significantly improve the viability of autologous fat grafts. Therefore, further study is necessary to develop safe and effective methods to improve the viability of these grafts for clinical application.


Low-level laser therapy / Gallium-aluminum-arsenide lasers / Stem cells / Graft survival
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