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Extracellular vesicles as inter-cellular communicators in fat graft retention

24 months
Approved budget:
Dr Kirsty Danielson
Associate Professor Margaret Currie
Associate Professor Elizabeth Dennett
Dr Elisabeth Phillips
Health issue:
Cancer (oncology)
Proposal type:
Breast Cancer Research Project
Lay summary
Breast reconstruction is an important part of the treatment process for women with breast cancer. Recently, fat grafting has become a popular option for reconstruction because it uses natural tissue from the woman’s own body and has a low surgical risk. Unfortunately, the ability to reconstruct a whole breast is difficult because up to 70% of the fat injected into the chest wall will be lost. This is largely due to a failure of the grafted tissue to integrate into the local cellular environment that it is placed in. Membrane bound packages called extracellular vesicles (EVs) act as a type of inter-cellular communication system that can signal cells to survive and grow. This project will investigate the ability of EVs released from adipose-derived stem cells to aid with fat graft survival and ultimately improve fat graft retention.