Breakthrough nanochip helps heal injuries with a single touch
A tiny device developed by Ohio State researchers can reprogram skin cells to turn into other cell types, which helps with regrowing organs and healing injuries.
COLUMBUS, OHIO — Researchers at Ohio State University have developed new technology that allows the body to generate any type of cell to help heal injuries.
According to a university press release, the technique, called tissue nanotransfection or TNT, uses a fingernail-sized nanochip which is placed over a patient's skin or tissue. A droplet containing genetic material is placed on top of the chip, and then zapped with an electrical current.
The DNA is delivered through channels created by the current, and it reprograms skin cells to turn into specific cell types that can then be used in other parts of the body.
When tested on a mouse with a damaged leg, researchers found vascular cells converted from skin cells formed new blood vessels that allowed the leg to heal in two weeks.
The non-invasive technology was also able to generate nerve cells in the legs of brain-damaged mice. Once the cells were harvested, they were injected into the brain to help with stroke recovery.
The nanochip also tested effectively in pigs and is expected to be approved for human trials within a year.
The team's research has been published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
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