Engineered Cells for Treatment of Animal Metabolic Disorders

The implantation of engineered thermogenic cells for treating metabolic disease and obesity in animals.

The Need

Obesity remains one of the main underlying causes for many malignancies in domestic animals such as cats, dogs, and horses. From a veterinary perspective, obesity dramatically increases the risk of cancer, one of the leading causes of death in domesticated animals. Other diseases correlated with obesity include cardiovascular disease and Type II diabetes. Existing lifestyle and diet options for obesity and metabolic disorder treatment are generally met with varying levels of compliance and success. Current surgical strategies carry risk of intra-operative and post-operative complications. Thus, there is need for innovative, minimally-invasive solutions for treating obesity in animals.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. Ouilana Ziouzenkova have developed a strategy for implanting allogeneic thermogenic cells as a treatment for metabolic disorders and obesity. Increasing the proportion of thermogenic cells has been shown to reduce weight and increase insulin sensitivity. The researchers have demonstrated this technique both in vitro and in vivo in mice, confirming its ability to successfully increase the basal metabolic rate and increase fat burning in animal tissue. Importantly, the length and intensity of treatment can be modified via the use of these engineered cells. Moreover, the use of biocompatible polymers for encapsulation of the cells avoids a combative immune response from the treated animals. This non-invasive approach can avoid potential complications associated with surgical procedures and offers more consistency than lifestyle modifications.

Commercial Applications

  • Treatment of animal metabolic disorders including:
    • Obesity
    • Blood sugar malignancies (i.e. hyperglycemia and diabetes)
    • Inflammatory diseases
    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Obesity-related cancers


  • Reduction of fat in specific fatty deposits
  • Increase in basal metabolic rate, leading to weight reduction and improved metabolic function
  • Duration and intensity of treatment is easily tunable
  • Encapsulation in biocompatible polymeric membranes avoids elicitation of immune response

Loading icon