Quantitative monitoring of lipid accumulation over time in cultured adipocytes as function of culture conditions: Toward controlled adipose tissue engineering

Shira Or-Tzadikario, Ran Sopher, Amit Gefen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Adipose tissue engineering is investigated for native fat substitutes and wound healing model systems. Research and clinical applications of bioartificial fat require a quantitative and objective method to continuously measure adipogenesis in living cultures as opposed to currently used culture-destructive techniques that stain lipid droplet (LD) accumulation. To allow standardization, automatic quantification of LD size is further needed, but currently LD size is measured mostly manually. We developed an image processing-based method that does not require staining to monitor adipose cell maturation in vitro nondestructively using optical micrographs taken consecutively during culturing. We employed our method to monitor LD accumulation in 3T3-L1 and mesenchymal stem cells over 37 days. For each cell type, percentage of lipid area, number of droplets per cell, and droplet diameter were obtained every 2-3 days. In 3T3-L1 cultures, high insulin concentration (10μg/mL) yielded a significantly different (p<0.01) time course of all three outcome measures. In mesenchymal stem cell cultures, high fetal bovine serum concentration (12.5%) produced significantly more lipid area (p<0.01). Our method was able to successfully characterize time courses and extents of adipogenesis and is useful for a wide range of applications testing the effects of biochemical, mechanical, and thermal stimulations in tissue engineering of bioartificial fat constructs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1167-1181
Number of pages15
JournalTissue Engineering - Part C: Methods
Volume16
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2010

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