As we all know, a person’s fat tissue grows and shrinks as that person gains and loses weight. Fat tissue can do this because there are helper cells with special properties in and around the blood vessels inside the fat tissue. These cells are sometimes referred to as Adipose-Derived Regenerative Cells (ADRCs).

ADRCs are not a single cell type but rather an orchestra of cell types that work together. Approximately 1-2% of ADRCs are a special type of helper cells that produces growth factors that stimulate formation of new blood vessels and reduce inflammation. In fact, it was Cytori scientists (working at that time at UCLA and at the University of Pittsburgh) who first proved that these cells exist in human fat tissue. ADRCs also include the cells that line blood vessels (endothelial cells) and endothelial progenitor cells (cells that form new endothelial cells). Other cell types within the ADRC population include cells which act to stabilize blood vessels called pericytes as well as cells called M2 macrophages that reduce inflammation and stimulate regeneration.

Cytori has developed a product that allows a surgeon to prepare ADRCs from a patients’s fat tissue inside the hospital. This product is called the Celution System. Regulated as a medical device by the US Food and Drug Administration, the Celution System prepares ADRCs using equipment, reagents, and materials that have been reviewed and approved by the FDA (and by regulatory agencies in Europe and Asia) as suitable for use in clinical research designed to determine the safety and effectiveness of ADRCs. While the RELIEF Trial is the first study in which ADRCs have been used to treat patients with burn wounds, ADRCs have been used in the USA and around the world in several clinical trials and case series.

Cytori’s Celution 800 Device

For the RELIEF Trial a surgeon will use a small liposuction to collect a small amount of fat tissue (about half a cup) from the patient during their burn surgery and skin graft preparation. ADRCs will be prepared while the surgery to apply the skin graft is completed. Once the ADRCs are prepared they will be delivered back to the patient through a vein.

Overview of the Process of Obtaining ADRCs in the RELIEF Trial