Researchers have developed a new type of skin patch that may reduce body fat and obesity by turning energy-storing white fat into energy-burning brown fat.
According to the researchers, brown fats are found in babies and they help to keep the baby warm by burning energy. As humans grow older, the amount of brown fat lessens and is replaced with visceral white fats.
The new type of skin patch contains hundreds of micro-needles which are loaded with the drug Beta-3 adrenergic receptor agonist or another drug called thyroid hormone T3 triiodothyronine.
When the patch is pressed into the skin for about two minutes, these micro-needles become embedded in the skin and detach from the patch, which can then be removed.
As the needles degrade, the drug molecules then slowly diffuse to the energy-storing white fat underneath the skin layer, turning them into energy-burning brown fats.
Published in the journal Small Methods, this approach could help to address the worldwide obesity problem without resorting to surgical operations or oral medications
In a laboratory experiments conducted by the researchers showed that the patch could suppress weight gain in mice that were fed a high fat diet and reduce their fat mass by over 30 per cent, over a period of four weeks.
The treated mice also had significantly lower blood cholesterol and fatty acids levels compared to the untreated mice.