Recent works state that adipose tissue hosts cells which are able to display various differentiation potentials. Moreover, this adult tissue is abundant and easy to sample with no ethic limitation. In addition, the simple isolation procedures provide a clear advantage for tissue engineering. The adipose cells which are used for tissue engineering can be isolated from the stromal vascular fraction (SVF) obtained after adipose tissue digestion that may be used either freshly prepared or after culture. In this last case, cultured cells represent a particular cell subpopulation, which is restricted to the adherent cell fraction of SVF, and termed adipose derived stromal cells(ADSCs). However, there is a confusing inconsistency in the literature in the use of terms to describe multipotent precursor cells from adipose tissue stroma, such as processed lipoasporate cells, ADSCs, preadipocytes, adipose stoma vascular cell fraction, SVF cells, and others. In addition, characteristics of such cells have not clearly been defined and still controversial. The aim of this brief and comprehensive review is to define terminologies for such cells, to describe preparation and isolation procedures for SVF cells and ADSCs, to summarize molecular characterization of SVF cells and ADSCs, and to discuss clinical cases using these cells.