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Love Handles Get Dissolved by New Skin Patch

저자:   업로드:2017-09-19  조회수:

    Researchers have devised a medicated skin patch that can turn energy-storing white fat into energy-burning brown fat locally while raising the body’s overall metabolism. The prototype postage-sized microneedle patch could be used to burn off pockets of unwanted fat such as “love handles” and treat metabolic disorders, such as obesity and diabetes, according to researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and the University of North Carolina.

    "Many people will no doubt be excited to learn that we may be able to offer a noninvasive alternative to liposuction for reducing love handles," commented Li Qiang, Ph.D., co-study leader, who is assistant professor of pathology and cell biology at CUMC. "What's much more important is that our patch may provide a safe and effective means of treating obesity and related metabolic disorders such as diabetes." The researchers report their developments in ACS Nano, in a paper entitled, “Locally Induced Adipose Tissue Browning by Microneedle Patch for Obesity Treatment.”

    Obesity was classified as a "disease" by the American Medical Association in 2013. Estimates indicate that more than one third of the adult population in the U.S. is obese, and the proportion is rising. Obesity-associated disorders, including T2D, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, represent major global health threats.

    Mammals have two types of fat tissue. Brown adipose tissue (BAT) burns fat to generate heat, whereas white adipose tissue (WAT) stores energy in the form of fat droplets. Adult humans have a predominance of WAT. Drugs are available that can promote the conversion of white fat into brown fat, a process termed browning, but these drugs also cause side effects. Qing noted, “… all [drugs] must be given as pills or injections. This exposes the whole body to the drugs, which can lead to side effects such as stomach upset, weight gain, and bone fractures.”

    The researchers developed the degradable microneedle patch as an alternative treatment approach that enables localized, painless drug administration. The patches were loaded with one of two nanoparticle formulations of drugs known to promote browning—the diabetes drug rosiglitazone (Avandia®), and a beta-adrenergic receptor agonist CL 316243, which is active in mice, but not in humans and has a different mechanism of action. "The nanoparticles were designed to effectively hold the drug and then gradually collapse, releasing it into nearby tissue in a sustained way instead of spreading the drug throughout the body quickly," explained patch designer and study co-leader Zhen Gu, Ph.D., associate professor of joint biomedical engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University.

    The team first

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