In Aeon, Jalees Rehman, an associate professor of medicine and pharmacology at the University of Illinois, discusses the potential healing power of stem cells found in human fat tissue:
The discovery of regenerative cells within our fat has opened up new doors. As adult stem cells, they can be converted into tissues such as bone and cartilage and might provide long-sought relief for debilitating diseases such as chronic joint pain. As stromal cells, they are able to build and regenerate blood vessels, and could provide relief for millions of patients affected by poor blood flow to their vital organs. With scientists starting to engineer organs such as the heart, lungs, pancreas and liver from scratch, they are realising that ensuring blood supply to newly engineered organs is critical. The ability of cells derived from fat to grow blood vessels might make them central players in the future of organ engineering.
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