Selective Photothermolysis of Fat with Vibration Shows Promise

Technology may be effective against cellulite

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Selective photothermolysis of fat tissue using infrared vibrational bands may be feasible, according to a study of free electron laser exposure published in the December issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

R. Rox Anderson, M.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues measured the absorption spectra of human fat and identified promising vibrational bands near 1,210 and 1,720 nm of vibration. They measured photothermal excitation of porcine fat and skin with a 3.5-5 micrometer thermal camera during exposure to the free electron laser.

The photothermal excitation of fat was twice that of the skin at both lipid absorption bands. Specifically, a subcutaneous fat layer that was several millimeter thick was damaged by the laser, without injuring the skin at 1,210 nm. The technology may one day hold promise for the treatment of cellulite due to its location just below the dermis-fat junction, the study authors speculate.

"The potential for laser-tissue interactions based on selective vibrational mode excitation deserves further study," the study authors conclude.

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