An Ohio State University research team’s revolutionary breakthrough in nanotechnology may one day rewrite human healing by developing brand-new cells inside an injured or ailing patient’s body.
Referred to as Tissue Nanotransfection (THT) in findings published by Nature Nanotechnology, the device converts adult cells from one type to another by administering a small electrical charge when placed in noninvasive direct contact with a patient’s skin. The reprogramming process requires less than a second of attachment to initiate and can then be removed entirely.
“By using our novel nanochip technology, injured or compromised organs can be replaced,” said study co-author Dr. Chandan Sen. “We have shown that skin is a fertile land where we can grow the elements of any organ that is declining.”
The hardware repurposes targeted cells into forms needed to heal injured tissue by altering their natural structures and functions using a specifically programmed DNA or RNA genetic code. During one trial involving a mouse with an injured leg, active blood vessels reappeared within a week of the THT chip’s introduction, and after a total of two weeks, the limb had healed entirely. Multiple additional mice have also recovered completely from stroke-related brain damage with the device’s assistance, but despite a reported 98-percent initial success rate, it has yet to be subjected to human clinical trials.
Nevertheless, the potential ramifications of this discovery are, to put it extraordinarily mildly, massive. Even in cases that do not call for treatment as extensive as regenerating elements of a damaged organ, the THT chip may help doctors offset inevitable effects of aging on blood vessels, nerve cells and other tissue. With guidance from a healthy immune system, it could potentially cultivate viable brain cells on human skin for later transplantation to treat such debilitating degenerative conditions as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
Source – IFLScience