With obesity and diabetes rates rising in the western world, and most of us steadily losing the “battle of the bulge,” an Israeli researcher has a new computer method for analyzing fat, which may lead to more effective weight loss programs, and also to new treatments for diabetes.
Prof. Amit Gefen of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering is using a new computer model to measure the effect of mechanical load on fat cells. Mechanical load is defined as the amount of force or deformation placed on a particular area occupied by cells.
By recreating the structure of fat cells using his newly developed computer method, Gefen can determine how much mechanical load can be tolerated and at what point fat cells, which produce the fat in our bodies, will begin to disintegrate.
This might be the key to understanding how to control the amount of fat produced by fat cells, says Gefen, whose research is driven by the theory that fat cells, like bone or muscle cells, are influenced by mechanical loads.