How Laser disrupts fat: Mechanism of action
What is Laser
Laser is actually a device that emits light (electromagnetic radiation) through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of photons. The term “laser” originated as an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Each Laser beam has a specific wavelength! There are two types of Laser utilized for medical purposes: Low Level laser and High Level Laser! Low Level Laser (wavelength between 600nm-900nm) provides less power and has different properties (it can’t go deep inside the body, it doesn’t heat the fat tissue – this is why its called “cold”) comparing to High Level Laser (wavelength higher than 950nm)
Low Level Laser
Most non surgical laser fat removal procedures (like i Lipo, Strawberry Laser Lipo) utilize Low Level Laser. Several clinical studies in humans, utilizing low level laser, have shown a significant reduction in circumferential measurements across waist, hips, and thighs! In an extended study, data from 689 participants treated with 6 low level laser sessions in a 2-week period was gathered and clearly exhibited a significant circumferential reduction!
But how low-level laser energy causes fat cell disruption?
Mechanism of Action
- Stimulation of cytochrome c oxidase (an enzyme that absorbs laser light, found in mitochondria) with a well-defined monochromatic low-level laser instrument (like the ones used in laser lipolysis techniques) modulates cellular metabolism and secondary biological cascades which can affect cell stability. More specifically this cytochrome c oxidase stimulation leads to a boost in the rate of ADP/ATP exchange.
- The upregulation of ATP brought about by the low level laser is responsible for the boosted production of a natural byproduct known as reactive oxygen species (ROS).This highly reactive oxygen molecule takes part in numerous cellular pathways.
- The increased ROS concentration induces a process known as lipid peroxidation! This happens when ROS reacts with lipid molecules that are placed in the cell membranes and this leads to the destruction of their structure and ultimately in a cellular membrane damage! The pores that are created make it easy for intra-cellular fat to be released. This leads a cell to lose its round shape due to changing of the permeability of the membrane. The pores are healed later!
- At the same moment Low Level Cold Laser is supposed to stimulate Lipase, an enzyme that breaks down triglycerides to fatty acids and glycerol. These molecules are also released through the pores!
- What happens to the content of fat cells that are released? Triglycerides and fatty acids/glycerol are removed by means of the lymphatic system, which transports them throughout the body where they will probably be metabolized to cover the energy needs of the body!
To close this study on how laser removes fat we should underline that skin, nerves or blood vessels that are close to the fat cells are not affected by this but much study has to be conducted in order to explain why these types of tissue are not affected!
High Level Laser
We need to notice that lasers with wavelength over 950nm can melt fat by heating fat cells (which is what happens with all Laser Liposuction procedures – such as SmartLipo, Cool Lipo etc)! Lets have a look on how does heating affects fat cells and fat cell membranes!
Mechanism of Action
- Cell membranes include lipids and proteins! When the temperature of fat cells is increased beyond the normal limits its found that cell membranes undergo gross structural changes. These changes include phase separation of the membrane constituents.
- These changes are connected with function disturbances such as loss of selective permeability and transport processes.While selective permeability is lost the intracellular content like triglycerides are moving through membrane and fat cells shrink!
- At the same moment heating can denature or break down membrane proteins! This instability of fat cells membrane can lead to the total destruction of fat cells!
- Then the fat cells remnants are removed via suction