Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. 24/7 Space News .




SPACE MEDICINE
Putting The Squeeze On Fat Cells
by Staff Writers
New York, NY (SPX) Nov 24, 2010


File image

From fad diets to exercise programs, Americans continue to fight the battle of the bulge. Now they'll have help from recent Tel Aviv University research that has developed a new method to look at how fat cells - which produce the fat in our bodies - respond to mechanical loads.

This might be the key to understanding how to control the amount of fat produced by fat cells, the holy grail of weight loss researchers, says Prof. Amit Gefen of Tel Aviv University's Department of Biomedical Engineering.

His research is driven by the theory that fat cells, like bone or muscle cells, are influenced by mechanical loads, defined as the amount of force or deformation placed on a particular area occupied by cells.

By recreating the structure of fat cells using a newly-developed computer method, Prof. Gefen and his team of researchers can determine how much mechanical load can be tolerated by fat cells, and at what point the cells will begin to disintegrate.

The research, recently reported in the Journal of Biomechanics, has direct applications in weight loss programs, the treatment of bedsores and the management of chronic diabetes.

Bones in space, fat on the ground
According to Prof. Gefen, applying mechanical loads on tissues can affect many different cells within our bodies. For example, zero gravity affects the bone density of astronauts. When astronauts return home after a prolonged space flight, he explains, they are often confined to a wheelchair for a small period of time.

The structures of their bones and muscles, which are determined by the cells that produce these structures, are weakened due to a lack of mechanical loads. This occurs because cells are deprived of "normal" mechanical stimulation, like walking.

Prof. Gefen believes that, much like bone or muscle cells, fat cells are also affected by mechanical loads. His new computer model takes slices of laser confocal microscopy images of cells and reconstructs a whole, virtual version of an individual cell, allowing researchers to evaluate how that cell will respond to different mechanical stimuli.

"We use these computer models to see how cells function under mechanical loading, much like simulations in structural engineering are used to test the strength of bridges or machines," he explains.

After assembling their "virtual" fat cells, Prof. Gefen and his group found that fat cells or lipids have a point where mechanical loads can disintegrate them, as well as a point at which they are able to resist disintegration. Prof.

Gefen is now trying to determine the specific load magnitudes and frequencies for fat cells, perhaps using ultrasound at a supersonic frequency to vibrate the tissue.

Not all infomercials are light-weight
Those fat-busting "ab vibrators" that you can see on infomercials are on the right track, says Prof. Gefen, but the magnitude of mechanical loads and the frequency of their application need to be scientifically determined.

Such information could be crucial to the future of our health, he says, noting that diabetes and obesity rates are rising. "Any treatment that would be effective in fighting obesity would also apply immediately to diabetes," he explains.

The next step for Prof. Gefen and his fellow researchers is to pin down the mathematical equations that allow for the dissolving of lipid droplets, then predict what a fat cell will do under certain levels of force.

This will lead to better information on how to use mechanical loads to control the production of fat by fat cells - whether this means applying a certain frequency of ultrasonic vibration, or simply spending more time in the gym.

.


Related Links
Tel Aviv University
Space Medicine Technology and Systems






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





SPACE MEDICINE
Space Travel Is Bad On The Bones
Atlanta GA (SPX) Nov 09, 2010
Long-duration spaceflight may have a long-term negative impact on bone health, according to research presented this week at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting in Atlanta. Exposure to microgravity (also known as weightlessness) during spaceflight results in rapid bone loss. Researchers recently set out to determine the impact of long-duration space missions on lo ... read more


SPACE MEDICINE
Neptec Wins Canadian Space Agency Contract To Develop A New Generation Of Lunar Rovers

Mission to far side of moon proposed

Mining On The Moon Is A Not-So-Distant Possibility

New Analysis Explains Formation Of Lunar Farside Bulge

SPACE MEDICINE
Opportunity Checks out Intrepid Crater

Shallow Groundwater Reservoirs May Have Been Common On Mars

Earth bacteria could survive on Mars

NASA Mars Rover Images Honor Apollo 12

SPACE MEDICINE
Should We Stay Or Should We Go

Graduation Of Europe's New Astronauts

NASA Administrator Bolden's Statement On International Space Summit

KLM Announces Suborbital Flight Relationship With Space Experience Curacao

SPACE MEDICINE
Condition Of China's Lunar Probe To Determine Future Application

Tasks For Tiangong

China To Launch First Female Astronauts

Two Telescopes For Tiangong

SPACE MEDICINE
Departure Preps For ISS Crew Members

ISS crew to return to Earth early

German Robotic Arm Completes Its Five-Year ISS Mission

ISS Crew Completes Spacewalk

SPACE MEDICINE
45th Space Wing Launches NRO Satellite

FAA issues private spacecraft permit

Ball Aerospace STPSat-2 Satellite Launches Aboard STP-S26 Mission

Ukraine Delivers Taurus II Launch Vehicle's First Stage To US

SPACE MEDICINE
500th 'extrasolar' planet discovered

Planet From Another Galaxy Discovered

First glimpse of a planet from another galaxy

Eartly Dust Tails Point To Alien Worlds

SPACE MEDICINE
Boeing Offers New Surveillance Detection System

Google seeking Miramax films for YouTube: NY Post

Russia To Spend 2 Bln Dollars For Space Clean-Up

Branson launching digital magazine for iPad




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement