Background: Obesity and metabolic disorders prevalence increased dramatically over the last decades and they have become pandemic. The potential use of brown adipose tissue (BAT) to increase energy expenditure has gain tremendous interest over the past couple of years since the discovery of functional BAT in healthy adults. Transplantation of brown fat in small animal model systems has demonstrated that brown fat expansion could possibly provide a novel therapeutic to combat obesity and related disorders. Because of the lack of transplantable BAT for human application, tissue engineering of metabolically active transplantable brown fat has recently emerged. We have previously describe the isolation and characterization of human brown adipose-derived stem cells and successfully demonstrated that they could be metabolically beneficial when transplanted in an animal model of obesity using a biological scaffold. Here we investigate in vitro the potential use of an immune-protecting encapsulation medical device in order to safely translate this technology to human and avoid immune rejection of the transplant.
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