Thursday January 18, 2018

A new type of skin patch that may reduce body: study

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A new type of skin patch that may reduce body: study
A new type of skin patch that may reduce body: study. wikimedia commons
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Singapore, Dec 29, 2017: 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.

“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,” said Chen Peng, professor at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.

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.

“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 treated mice also had significantly lower blood cholesterol and fatty acids levels compared to the untreated mice. (IANS)

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Using stem cells may provide a cure for baldness

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Using stem cells may provide a cure for baldness
Using stem cells may provide a cure for baldness. wikimedia commons

New York, Jan 3, 2018: In a finding that may provide potential cure for baldness, researchers have used stem cells from mice to develop a skin patch that is complete with hair follicles in a laboratory.

Baldness, a common disease for which a solution has been found.Baldness, a common disease for which a solution has been found.
Baldness, a common disease for which a solution has been found. wikimedia commons

Using the skin model, the scientists developed both the epidermis (upper) and dermis (lower) layers of skin, which grow together in a process that allows hair follicles to form the same way as they would in a mouse’s body.

The novel skin tissue more closely resembles natural hair than existing models and may prove useful for testing drugs, understanding hair growth, and reducing the practice of animal testing, the researchers said.

You can see the organoids with your naked eye, said Karl Koehler, Assistant Professor at the Indiana University.

It looks like a little ball of pocket lint that floats around in the culture medium. The skin develops as a spherical cyst, and then the hair follicles grow outward in all directions, like dandelion seeds.

In the study, published in Cell Reports, Koehler and team originally began using pluripotent stem cells from mice, which can develop into any type of cells in the body, to create organoids — miniature organs in vitro — that model the inner ear.

But they discovered that they were generating skin cells in addition to inner ear tissue. Thus, they decided to coax the cells into sprouting hair follicles.

Moreover, they found that mouse skin organoid technique could be used as a blueprint to generate human skin organoids.

It could be potentially a superior model for testing drugs, or looking at things like the development of skin cancers, within an environment that’s more representative of the in vivo microenvironment, Koehler noted. (IANS)

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