Jun 23, 2014 I Peter Holmstrom

Melt Your Fat, with GooOOOLd!

Mike Meyers, eat your heart out!

New research indicates that gold nanoparticles can be used to literally melt fat cells in the human body.

Gold has always held an odd fascination for people, but the practical applications have been somewhat elusive. That has all changed in the past ten years, as researchers have sought out different ways of utilizing gold's unique properties. Everything from photovoltaic cells (solar panels) to conductors, drug delivery systems to cancer therapies have been explored with a certain amount of success.

Chemical and Engineering News now reports of another novel use for gold...Super fast weight loss. This might sound crazy, especially since gold has one of the densest metals on the planet, but it seems to be true!

Adah Almutairi, co-founder of the new startup NanoLipo, and professor at University of California San Diego, was first inspired by recent research into using gold nanoparticles as a cancer treatment. Such research found that when you shine infrared laser light onto gold nanoparticles collected near tumors, they become so active that they destroy some of the malignant tissue.

Almutairi and her team applied the same concept to fat cells on butter and bacon. Using an 800 nm laser, typically used for the removal of hair cells, the researchers could rapidly melt the fat cells that had been injected with gold nanords. The research was so successful that Almutairi sought to prove it even more so with animal trials.

The procedure involves injecting the subject with gold nanoparticles in the desired fatty location, heating it up with an infrared laser, and then sucking the melted fat cells out with a small needle.

09224 scitech1 nanolipo
Credit: eLux Medical/C&EN

These developments holds the potential of greatly reducing negative side effects associated with liposuction, such as scaring, bruising, and fluid imbalance (not to mention the horrific image of having a gigantic metal rod shoved into you).

The company has begun early stage human trials, and hopes to have it on the market by 2017.

Similar research is currently underway regarding gold nanoparticles cancer fighting potential, but testing and research requires greater study.

Peter Holmstrom

Peter Holmstrom is a freelance writer that has written for Mysterious Universe and Portland Monthly. He's also studying to be a screen writer.

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