Prof. Nicole Lindenblatt

Keywords

Autologous fat grafting, lymphatics, regenerative therapies, skin graft vascularization, skin tissue engineering

What we investigate

Our laboratory studies vascular biology with a special interest in regenerative therapies and the role of lymphatics in this context, the application of this knowledge to skin tissue engineering and scar treatment. We are particularly interested in the development of new strategies to make the application of skin substitutes more successful in the clinical setting.

Our research in more detail

Abbildung Werner
Microfat is harvested using 2.7 mm cannulas with 1mm holes and contains viable adipocytes as well as a stromal vascular fraction. It is applied to achieve a volume effect, e.g. in soft tissue correction of the face. Nanofat is gained by further processing usinh mechanical shuffling and filtering through a titanium mesh with a predefined pore-site, which destroys the adipocytes. Nanofat can be used if no volume effect is intended to improve skin properties.

The coverage of large wounds especially after a burn injury remains a challenge in plastic surgery. Despite recent success in grafting of full-thickness skin substitutes, insufficient angiogenesis resulting in necrosis is still a major problem and often results in extensive hypertrophic scarring and keloids. Autologous fat grafting has a strong potential for the treatment of chronic wounds and burns. Restoring the barrier function of skin is a life-saving crucial measure in trauma management. Clinical studies confirm the efficacy of micro- and nanofat grafting in scar regeneration and patients’ satisfaction. However, the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which fat remodels scar tissue also with respect to lymphatic function remain elusive. Based on the high clinical demand of patients for the treatment of scars we plan to investigate innovative strategies in an interdisciplinary and translational approach that combines in vivo and in vitro studies. Being the first unit to perform supermicrosurgery on lymphatic vessels in Switzerland, we see a strong potential to include lymphatics into research on scar formation. Based on the results of our project, pro-lymphangiogenic therapies to treat hypertrophic scars or even prevent aberrant scar formation may become a promising treatment strategy in the future.

Selected publications

SKINTEGRITY.CH Principal Investigators are underlined:

  • McLuckie M, Robotti F, Sanchez-Macedo N, Enderlin D, Frese L,  Cheng PF, Levesque MP, Egaña JT, Poulikakos D, Ferrari A, and Lindenblatt N (2020) . Lipoconstruct surface topography grating size influences vascularization onset in the dorsal skinfold chamber model. Acta Biomater 1, 136-144.
  • Felmerer G, Stylianaki A, Hollmén M, Ströbel P, Stepniewski A, Wang A, Frueh FS, Kim BS, Giovanoli P, Lindenblatt N, and Gousopoulos E (2020). Increased levels of VEGF-C and macrophage infiltration in lipedema patients without changes in lymphatic vascular morphology. Sci Rep. 10, 10947.
  • Uyulmaz S, Sanchez-Macedo N, Rezaeian F, Giovanoli P, and Lindenblatt N (2018). Nanofat Grafting for Scar Treatment and Skin Quality Improvement. Aesthet Surg J. 38, 421-428.
  • Frueh FS, Sanchez-Macedo N, Calcagni M, Giovanoli P, Lindenblatt N (2018). The Crucial Role of Vascularization and Lymphangiogenesis in Skin Reconstruction. Eur Surg Res. 59, 242-254.