Journal Article

A Single-Blind Study Evaluating the Efficacy of Gold Nanoparticle Photothermal-Assisted Liposuction in an Ex Vivo Human Tissue Model

Wangzhong Sheng, William J Seare, Barry DiBernardo, Ali H Alhasan, Esther Cory, Paul Chasan, Robert L Sah, Khalid M Almutairi and Adah Almutairi

in Aesthetic Surgery Journal

Published on behalf of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

Volume 38, issue 11, pages 1213-1224
Published in print October 2018 | ISSN: 1090-820X
Published online February 2018 | e-ISSN: 1527-330X | DOI:
A Single-Blind Study Evaluating the Efficacy of Gold Nanoparticle Photothermal-Assisted Liposuction in an Ex Vivo Human Tissue Model

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Liposuction is one of the most performed cosmetic surgery procedures. In a previously reported study, gold-nanoparticle (GNP) laser-assisted liposuction (NanoLipo) was shown to improve procedure parameters and outcomes in a porcine model.


An ex vivo human liposuction model was developed to assess the ease, efficacy, and outcomes of NanoLipo, and to further explore its mechanism of action in facilitating liposuction.


NanoLipo was compared to a control without GNPs in sets of fresh, nonperfused, anatomically symmetric, matched tissue specimens from 12 patients. A subset of three experiments was performed under single-blinded conditions. Intraoperative assessments included lipoaspirate volume, percentage of free oil, ease of removal, and temperature rise. Specimens were palpated, visualized for evenness, and graded with and without skin. Postoperative assessment included viability staining of the lipoaspirate and remaining tissues. Microcomputed tomography was used to assess the distribution of infused GNPs within the tissues.


NanoLipo consistently removed more adipose tissue with more liberated triglycerides compared to control. NanoLipo specimens were smoother, thinner, and had fewer and smaller irregularities. Infused solutions preferentially distributed between fibrous membranes and fat pearls. After NanoLipo, selective structural-tissue disruptions, indicated by loss of metabolic activity, were observed. Thus, NanoLipo likely creates a bimodal mechanism of action whereby fat lobules are dislodged from surrounding fibro-connective tissue, while lipolysis is simultaneously induced.


NanoLipo showed many advantages compared to control under blinded and nonblinded conditions. This technology may be promising in facilitating fat removal.

Level of Evidence: 5

Journal Article.  6809 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Body Contouring

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