© Thieme Medical Publishers
Fat Grafting and Stem Cell Technology
17 September 2010 (online)
Lazar Greenfield opens his surgical text with the following: “The accelerated rate of scientific progress demands not only an expanded vocabulary but also a willingness to adopt new ideas and strategies and to readjust basic biologic concepts. Without this approach, future surgeons would be in danger of becoming surgical technicians and would fail their heritage as major contributors to medical progress.”
I first read these words as a medical student and have found that they resonate still. As facial plastic surgeons, we are no exception to this statement. One area in which the basic science realm promises to change medical practice is the field of stem cell biology. Using stem cells, we are on the brink of transforming the treatment of patients with a variety of issues, from those related to the aging face to complex reconstruction of soft tissue, bone, and nerve.
I am honored to have been asked to assemble one of the first (if not the first) compilations of basic and translational research in stem cell biology as it relates to facial plastic surgery. Herein, we have contributions covering the basics of stem cell biology as well as analyses of applications in bony, cartilage, and nervous tissue reconstruction. Furthermore, fat transfer is included in this issue as there is some evidence that fat stem cells may already be present among the cells we use in this technique. Furthermore, the technical issues associated with fat transfer may someday apply to transfer of stem cells to the face.
I have thoroughly enjoyed putting this issue together—I hope you enjoy the content as much as I've enjoyed assembling it. I would like to thank the authors for their contributions to this important issue.