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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 3459431, 9 pages
Research Article

Application of Hydrogel in Reconstruction Surgery: Hydrogel/Fat Graft Complex Filler for Volume Reconstruction in Critical Sized Muscle Defects

Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong

Received 17 February 2016; Accepted 13 June 2016

Academic Editor: Sik Yoon

Copyright © 2016 Y. F. Lui and W. Y. Ip. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Autogenic fat graft usually suffers from degeneration and volume shrinkage in volume reconstruction applications. How to maintain graft viability and graft volume is an essential consideration in reconstruction therapies. In this presented investigation, a new fat graft transplantation method was developed aiming to improve long term graft viability and volume reconstruction effect by incorporation of hydrogel. The harvested fat graft is dissociated into small fragments and incorporated into a collagen based hydrogel to form a hydrogel/fat graft complex for volume reconstruction purpose. In vitro results indicate that the collagen based hydrogel can significantly improve the survivability of cells inside isolated graft. In a 6-month investigation on artificial created defect model, this hydrogel/fat graft complex filler has demonstrated the ability of promoting fat pad formation inside the targeted defect area. The newly generated fat pad can cover the whole defect and restore its original dimension in 6-month time point. Compared to simple fat transplantation, this hydrogel/fat graft complex system provides much improvement on long term volume restoration effect against degeneration and volume shrinkage. One notable effect is that there is continuous proliferation of adipose tissue throughout the 6-month period. In summary, the hydrogel/fat graft system presented in this investigation demonstrated a better and more significant effect on volume reconstruction in large sized volume defect than simple fat transplantation.