Researchers from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore have created a novel approach to reducing fat stored around your midsection. The team has come up with a new way to deliver drugs with a micro-needle patch filled with drugs that are able to turn the bad energy-storing white fat in our bodies into energy-burning brown fat.
The patch is in trails now in mice and was able to take mice on high-fat diets and reduce fat mass by 30% in four weeks. The patch has hundreds of micro-needles that are each thinner than a human hair. The drug loaded into that patch is a Beta-3 adrenergic receptor agonist or a drug called T3 triiodothyronine, a thyroid hormone.
The team says when the patch is pressed into the skin for about two minutes, the microneedles embed in the skin and detach from the patch, the patch can then be removed. The needles degrade over time and the drug diffuses into the white fit under the skin.
That fat is turned into brown fats, which are common in babies and help the baby keep warm by burning energy. The amount of brown fat in the body decreases as we age and is replaced with white fat. The researchers think that the new patch and drug could help reduce the obesity problem globally without having to use surgery.
In trials, the mice treated with the patch were also able to lower blood cholesterol and fatty acid levels compared to mice that were untreated. The team says that the path cost about $3.50 to make. The Beta-3 adrenergic receptor agonist is approved by the FDA already.