“Body sculpting” is a currently fashionable term that embraces a multitude of generally expensive vanity sins: diet plans, cosmetic surgery and personal trainers among them.
Soon, however, another technique to banning the body’s unwanted fatty deposits could be added to the arsenal: nanotech skin patches.
In research published in the journal ACS Nano, a team led by biomechanical engineer Yuqi Zhang from the University of North Carolina describes a medicated patch saturated with nanoparticles and topped with micro-needles that can turn areas of white fat into brown.
Brown fat comprises much smaller triglyceride droplets than white, and thus has a higher concentration of energy-burning mitochondria. Common in babies – where it functions as both energy storage and insulation – brown fat is rare in adults.