According to the findings of a recent study, a new type of skin patch developed by the researchers can help in reducing body fat in overweight and obese people, reports state.
According to the study, the patch can turn energy-storing white fat cells into energy-turning brown cells. The researchers said that the brown cells are found in babied and they help them in keeping warm by burning energy.
The study added that as human beings grown older, these brown fat cells lessen in number and are subsequently replaced by white fat cells.
Commenting on the findings of the study, Chen Peng, professor at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore said, “What we aim to develop is a painless patch that everyone could use easily, is unobtrusive and yet affordable. Most importantly, our solution aims to use a person’s own body fats to burn more energy, which is a natural process in babies.”
The researchers said that the new skin patch has hundreds of micro-needles which are loaded with a particular drug called Beta-3 adrenergic receptor agonist or another drug called thyroid hormone T3 triiodothyronine.
For the patch to work, it is pressed on the skin for nearly two minutes, then these micro-needles in it become embedded in the skin and detach from the patch. The patch can then be removed.
The needles then degrade and cause the drug molecules to gradually diffuse to the energy-storing white fat underneath the layer of the skin. It then turns them into energy-burning brown fats, reports state.
“With the embedded micro-needles in the skin of the mice, the surrounding fats started browning in five days, which helped to increase the energy expenditure of the mice, leading to a reduction in body fat gain,” said Xu Chenjie, assistant professor at NTU.
The findings of the study were published in the journal Small Methods.