Developing an improved liposuction technique that melts fat

June 18, 2014

Although liposuction is one of the most common and well-established cosmetic surgery procedures in the U.S., it still has its drawbacks. But a new biomedical start-up says it may have found a novel way to improve the procedure using gold nanoparticles to literally melt fat, reports Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly news magazine of the American Chemical Society.

Lauren K. Wolf, an associate editor at C&EN, explains that during the most common type of liposuction procedure, a surgeon inserts a sharp-edged needle through an incision, moves it back and forth to break up fat cells and then vacuums them out. The problem is the procedure isn't selective, and sometimes and nerves get removed along with the fat cells. Liposuction patients often suffer from bruising, long recovery times and lumpiness that has to be corrected with a second . To address the surgery's problems, a nanomedicine expert and her brother, who is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, teamed up to try a different approach.

The duo, Adah and Khalid Almutairi, drew on some of the latest research looking into ' ability to destroy cancer cells when exposed to infrared light. They wondered whether they could inject the same material into patients, light up selected areas with an infrared beam to melt the fat rather than mechanically breaking it up, and then suction out the cells. Fat melts at a low enough temperature that connective tissue and nerve cells could be spared damage, they say. A new firm, eLux Medical, has licensed the technique, now called NanoLipo. Animal trials are currently underway, and human clinical studies could begin later this year, the company says.

Explore further: Fat grafting techniques for breast reconstruction are commonly used by US plastic surgeons

More information: "Liposuction Goes Nano"

Related Stories

Laser liposuction melts fat, results in tighter skin

April 15, 2013

A new, minimally invasive treatment that uses lasers to melt fat could replace the "tummy tuck," suggests research on more than 2,000 people being presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 38th Annual Scientific ...

Do you think liposuction will get rid of that fat forever?

May 9, 2011

Liposuction has become one of the most popular plastic surgeries in the country. It has been around since 1974 and there are now more than 450,000 operations a year. But does the fat come back? A recent study by Teri L. ...

Recommended for you

Turning CO2 to stone

October 25, 2016

Earth has limits to the amount of carbon dioxide in its atmosphere before the environment as we know it starts to change. Too much CO2 absorbed by the oceans makes the water more acidic. Too much in the atmosphere warms the ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.