Breast reconstruction is a type of surgery for women who have had a mastectomy, and involves using autologous tissue or prosthetic material to construct a natural-looking breast. Adipose tissue is the major contributor to the volume of the breast, whereas epithelial cells comprise the functional unit of the mammary gland. Adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) can differentiate into both adipocytes and epithelial cells and can be acquired from autologous sources. ASCs are therefore an attractive candidate for clinical applications to repair or regenerate the breast. Here we review the current state of adipose tissue engineering methods, including the biomaterials used for adipose tissue engineering and the application of these techniques for mammary epithelial tissue engineering. Adipose tissue engineering combined with microfabrication approaches to engineer the epithelium represents a promising avenue to replicate the native structure of the breast.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- mammary epithelium