Columbia Engineering and Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) researchers have discovered that positively charged nanomaterials may be used to target specific fat cell depots anywhere in the body. More specifically, it would target the visceral fat, or the kind that produces potbellies and subcutaneous fat, which creates chin jowls, arm fat, etc.
The researchers used a positively charged nanomaterial, PAMAM generation 3 (P-G3), and injected it into obese mice. This nanomaterial then quickly spread throughout the tissue and found that they were successful at specifically targeting visceral fat. P-G3 then shut off the lipid storage program in fat cells and the mice actually lost weight, an unexpected result, especially since P-G3 is known to neutralize negatively charged pathogens, such as DNA/RNA cell debris, to alleviate inflammation.
Our approach is unique–It departs from the pharmacological or surgical approaches. We used cationic charge to rejuvenate healthy fat cells, a technique no one has ever used to treat obesity. I think this novel strategy will open the door to healthier and safer reduction of fat,” said Li Qiang, associate professor of pathology and cell biology at CUIMC.