New method for the non-invasive analysis of fat depots

Electron density as measured by phase contrast CT correlates to fat content and mitochondrial density of adipose tissues.

In close collaboration with our partners at the Biomedical Physics Department at TUM, we developed a novel technique to determine the composition of adipose tissues. Phase-contrast computed tomography (PCCT) is an X-ray-based imaging method measuring electron density by differences in the refractive index during tissue passage. We identified the components responsible for different electron densities in murine adipose tissue depots to be cellular fat and mitochondrial content, two parameters typically different between white and brown adipocytes. Thus, PCCT has the potential to evolve into the urgently needed methodology to determine ectopic brown adipocyte content repeatedly in fat depots during long experimental interventions.

Read the original open access study: https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2018.00707