The Biomechanics of Fat: From Tissue to a Cell Scale

  • Naama Shoham
  • Amit GefenEmail author


Adipose tissues are weight-bearing biological structures that are involved in central medical problems such as obesity, diabetes and their comorbidities. Their biomechanical properties are relevant in several fields such as cosmetics, acute and chronic wound treatments, implantable drug delivery systems, and plastic surgery. In this chapter, we relate the mechanical behavior of the adipose tissue continuum to the biological activities of adipocytes. We demonstrate that first, at a macroscopic scale, the mechanical behavior of adipose tissues depends on the anatomical site and hence on physiological function. At a microscopic scale, mechanical function such as cell stiffness properties depends on the triglyceride contents that in turn depend on the level of differentiation, which has recently been shown to be regulated by mechanical loading. Hence, based on the empirical data, we propose a novel hypothesis regarding structure–function–adaptation processes and relationships in fat, which might open new research paths for studying adipose-related diseases from a biomechanical point of view, involving the mechanotransduction and structure–function–adaptation concepts that are well known to exist for other tissues but were so far very poorly studied in fat.


Adipose Tissue Lipid Droplet Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue Magnetic Resonance Elastography Large Lipid Droplet 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering, Department of Biomedical EngineeringTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

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