Tag: plastic surgery

How Do Scientists Get Ahold of Human Fat? Tummy Tucks.

By Sarah Zhang | April 6, 2012 10:35 am

spacing is important
So much adipose tissue…

Most of us think of our love handles as something we’d rather do without. Scientists would be glad to take them off your hips—er, hands.

In a feature for The Telegraph’s magazine, we learn that researchers at Bath University, who are trying to study the impact of exercise on fat tissue, had until recently been painstakingly recruiting volunteers to donate flab, a gram or less per person. But then they realized there’s a sizable population of people willing to pay to have their fat removed. After partnering up with a cosmetic surgery clinic in Bath, they’re rolling in the stuff: they’ve collected six kilograms of human fat, equal to 6000-12,000 volunteers at their previous rate. All that fat came from tummy tucks. (Liposuction fat, it turns out, is no good, because the procedure uses enzymes that break down the tissue too far for research.)

It’s hard to argue against repurposing plastic surgery leftovers for science research, but the ethical waters get murkier when money is involved. The Telegraph reporter goes inside a L’Oreal-affiliated lab that tests products on human skin from breast and tummy reductions. (The scientists there have preferences too: “I must admit I prefer to work with breast reduction skin because the skin is nicer. For the tummy, the skin has been extended,” one said to the Telegraph.)

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Light-Activated, Injectable Gel Could Help Build New Faces

By Veronique Greenwood | July 27, 2011 5:22 pm

Before LED light is shined on it, the injected gel is still fluid and
can fill up any gaps of spaces under the skin.

What’s the News: Scientists have developed a gel that could be used to rebuild the faces of crash victims. Activated by light, it solves several of the problems inherent in the usual methods.

What’s the Context:

  • Dealing with damaged soft tissue is often more complex than dealing with damaged bone and skin. The shape of someone’s face is dependent on the fat, muscle, and other tissue below the surface, and doctors trying to restore someone’s facial structure must contend with scar tissue, swelling, and loss of movement.
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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine

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