BACKGROUND: In the last decades, autologous fat grafting has been used to treat adherent dermal scars. The observed regenerative and scar-reducing properties have been mainly ascribed to the tissue-derived stromal vascular fraction (tSVF) in adipose tissue. Adipose tissue's components augment local angiogenesis and mitosis in resident tissue cells. Moreover, it promotes collagen remodeling. We hypothesize that tSVF potentiates fat grafting-based treatment of adherent scars. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the effect of tSVF-enriched fat grafting on scar pliability over a 12-month period.

METHODS AND DESIGN: A clinical multicenter non-randomized early phase trial will be conducted in two dedicated Dutch Burn Centers (Red Cross Hospital, Beverwijk, and Martini Hospital, Groningen). After informed consent, 46 patients (≥18 years) with adherent scars caused by burns, necrotic fasciitis, or degloving injury who have an indication for fat grafting will receive a sub-cicatricic tSVF-enriched fat graft. The primary outcome is the change in scar pliability measured by the Cutometer between pre- and 12 months post-grafting. Secondary outcomes are scar pliability (after 3 months), scar erythema, and melanin measured by the DSM II Colormeter; scar quality assessed by the patient and observer scales of the Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale (POSAS) 2.0; and histological analysis of scar biopsies (voluntary) and tSVF quality and composition. This study has been approved by the Dutch Central Committee for Clinical Research (CCMO), NL72094.000.20.

CONCLUSION: This study will test the clinical efficacy of tSVF-enriched fat grafting to treat dermal scars while the underlying working mechanism will be probed into too.

Original languageEnglish
Article number575
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


  • adipose tissue
  • cicatrix/diagnosis
  • humans
  • stromal vascular fraction
  • transplantation, autologous/adverse effects
  • treatment outcome


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