Cool-sculpting: Optimizing Total Fat Loss During Cryolipolysis

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Cryolipolysis has become a more prevalent, non-invasive fat loss procedure. Multiple studies have been performed to assess the effi ciency of cryolipolysis techniques. This research includes optimization of cooling temperature used in the procedure and finding how the geometry of suction cup leads to better fat loss. Analysis of how adipose cells cool and at what rate they undergo apoptosis would allow us to optimize the total fat loss during the procedure. Current cryolipolysis research has not compared applicator shapes and their dimensions. This study investigates how altering the dimensions of the applicator head can increase fat loss and possibly be beneficial to more patients.

The region of fat being exposed to the treatment was approximated as a 3D slab that includes a skin layer and subcutaneous adipose tissue layer. The rate of heat flux to surrounding adipose tissue was observed under various head geometries in order to maximize fat cell loss. Geometries were designed in order to maximize the surface area to volume ratio, while keeping the volume of fat in the applicator head constant. As a result, locations of cold application were maximized, with the aim of achieving a greater percentage of damaged fat cell loss. To perform a sensitivity analysis, the dimensions of the cooling applicator and therefore the 3D slab were changed, temperature was decreased, and metabolic heat were changed. Heat transfer and the mass degradation were simulated using the commercial analysis software COMSOL multiphysics.

The amount of fat loss during cryolipolysis reaches a threshold. The original applicator model showed around a 5-6% total volume of cooled fat cells after one 60 minute session. Patients usually have to have multiple cooling sessions in order to reach a 20-50% total fat reduction over the course of a few months; therefore a 5-6% total volume of fat cells cooled supports this. Consequently the procedure is not suitable for patients who want to lose more than 10 pounds of fat; even after undergoing multiple treatments because a small amount of fat cells are cooling to the optimal temperature and dying. After designing a new applicator head with an increased surface area to volume ratio, we were able to increase the volume of cooled fat.

This analysis can give rise to new technology that can be used in other cosmetic surgery procedures. Currently, this cryolipolysis procedure is only available to patients who are within 5-10 pounds of their weight goals. By changing the dimensions of the applicator head and by changing the amount of fat loss that occurs post-op, the new shape of the applicator head can expand accessibility of the treatment to patients who are not within 5-10 pounds of their weight goal.

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cryolipolysis, cold, cooling, liposuction, fat, reduction, weight-loss, apoptosis, sub-cutaneous adipose tissue


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