A NEW skin patch blitzes love handles by delivering a fat-busting drug directly where it is needed. When applied to skin, the needles painlessly pierce the skin and release the drug from nanoparticles into the underlying tissue. While diet and exercise aren't able to "spot treat" fat - that is, eliminate it from just one part of the body - this micro-needle patch can.
The patch holds promise in burning off unwanted fat deposits in the body such as the so-called love handles at the sides of a waistline. The process of transforming white into brown fat is called browning, and scientists have always been looking for ways to make that happen.
The findings, from experiments in mice, were published online today in ACS Nano. To promote fat burn, a lot of research has been done on how to turn an adult's white fat into brown fat-a process they call "browning"-which this new skin patch has been shown to successfully achieve in mice".
There are a few clinically accessible medications that advance searing, yet all must be given as pills or infusions, uncovering the entire body to the medications, which can prompt symptoms, for example, stomach agitate, weight pick up, and bone cracks.
The skin patch is a centimeter across, and contains dozens of tiny needles that have the nanoparticles of the drugs.
"Our skin patch appears to alleviate these complications by delivering most drugs directly to fat tissue", he said.
'The nanoparticles were created 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, ' said patch designer and study co-leader Dr Zhen Gu, associate professor of joint biomedical engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The drugs used were rosiglitazone (Avandia) and a beta-adrenergic receptor agonist (CL 316243) that works well in mice but not in humans, said the report. The mice also showed lower fasting blood glucose levels compared with mice who didn't get the treatment. In thinner mice, the patches boosted oxygen consumption by around 20%.
Patches were applied to the mice's abdomens, and were replaced every three days for a total of four weeks.
Upon conducting genetic analyses, the researchers likewise found that the treated side had more genes linked to brown fat, suggesting that the "melting" of fat can be attributed to the browning process. Even better and more importantly, the patch could serve as a future treatment for metabolic conditions or diabetes.
The researchers are now studying which drugs, or combination of drugs, work best to promote localized browning and increase overall metabolism.
The study is titled "Locally-Induced Adipose Tissue Browning by Microneedle Patch for Obesity Treatment".