Cell Thermograft: Bioreactor for Engineering Brown Adipose Tissue for Treatment of Obesity

Unmet Medical Need:  Obesity is a worldwide epidemic that increases the risk of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, representing the leading cause of global mortality while posing a huge financial burden on healthcare systems.  

Envisioned Healthcare Product: A series of systems and methods for treating obesity and diabetes by conversion of excess white adipose tissue (WAT) into highly metabolic brown adipose tissue (BAT), a process they named "Thermograft." Thermograft is a safe and simple process in which a patient's subcutaneous WAT is harvested and converted to BAT outside the body in an automated, point-of-care bioreactor system. The converted BAT is then injected in the patient to increase basal metabolism, promoting weight loss and possibly reducing obesity and associated diabetes.

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Stage of Development: Creators of the Cell Thermograft technologies have obtained encouraging preclinical data in mice showing persistence of the converted BAT for at least two months after implantation. The researchers have also shown the ability to similarly convert human WAT tissue donated by fat grafting patients, and have developed a 2nd generation prototype of the automated bioreactor system. Dr. Brian Gillete has also founded Ardent Cell Technologies, a start-up focused on commercializing the cell thermograft technology. For any inquiries on the startup, contact info@ardentcell.com.

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Collaborative Research Team:  Samuel Sia PhDJudith Korner MD, and Brian Gillette PhD

Funding Cycle: 2013-2014