Comparison of Freshly Isolated Adipose Tissue-derived Stromal Vascular Fraction and Bone Marrow Cells in a Posterolateral Lumbar Spinal Fusion Model

Alexander Perdomo-Pantoja, Christina Holmes, Ethan Cottrill, Alexandra N. Rindone, Wataru Ishida, Maritza Taylor, Colson Tomberlin, Sheng Fu L. Lo, Warren L Grayson, Timothy F. Witham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


STUDY DESIGN: Rat posterolateral lumbar fusion model. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of freshly isolated adipose tissue-derived stromal vascular fraction (A-SVF) and bone marrow cells (BMCs) cells in achieving spinal fusion in a rat model. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Adipose tissue-derived stromal cells (ASCs) offer advantages as a clinical cell source compared to bone marrow-derived stromal cells (BMSCs), including larger available tissue volumes and reduced donor site morbidity. While pre-clinical studies have shown that ex vivo expanded ASCs can be successfully used in spinal fusion, the use of A-SVF cells better allows for clinical translation. METHODS: A-SVF cells were isolated from the inguinal fat pads, whereas BMCs were isolated from the long bones of syngeneic 6- to 8-week-old Lewis rats and combined with Vitoss (Stryker) bone graft substitute for subsequent transplantation. Posterolateral spinal fusion surgery at L4-L5 was performed on 36 female Lewis rats divided into three experimental groups: Vitoss bone graft substitute only (VO group); Vitoss + 2.5 × 106 A-SVF cells/side; and, Vitoss + 2.5 × 106 BMCs/side. Fusion was assessed 8 weeks post-surgery via manual palpation, micro-computed tomography (μCT) imaging, and histology. RESULTS: μCT imaging analyses revealed that fusion volumes and μCT fusion scores in the A-SVF group were significantly higher than in the VO group; however, they were not significantly different between the A-SVF group and the BMC group. The average manual palpation score was highest in the A-SVF group compared with the BMC and VO groups. Fusion masses arising from cell-seeded implants yielded better bone quality than nonseeded bone graft substitute. CONCLUSION: In a rat model, A-SVF cells yielded a comparable fusion mass volume and radiographic rate of fusion to BMCs when combined with a clinical-grade bone graft substitute. These results suggest the feasibility of using freshly isolated A-SVF cells in spinal fusion procedures.Level of Evidence: N/A.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-637
Number of pages7
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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