New medical breakthrough could heal organs

Operating theatre

Researchers from Ohio State University call the new technology tissue nanotransfection (TNT).

The device has not yet been tested in humans, but it has proved successful with mice and pigs.

"Seven days later, we saw new vessels and 14 days later, we saw [blood flow] through the whole leg", said Sen.

Results of the trial showed that a week after it was made, blood vessels started appearing in the injured leg.

It takes just a fraction of a second.

"With this technology we can convert skin cells into elements of any organ with just one touch", says co-author Chandan Sen.

Lee, Sen and Gallego-Perez were part of a group of researchers that lodged a patent application in 2016 for an earlier iteration of TNT: a device that enables "compositions and methods for reprogramming somatic cells into induced endothelial cells".

The device is a tiny silicone chip about the size of a dime that "injects genetic code into skin cells, turning those skin cells into other types of cells required for treating diseased conditions", states a release from the university. It simply involves the chip being placed on the skin and a light electrical current applied, which patients barely feel. "Our technology keeps the cells in the body under immune surveillance, so immune suppression is not necessary".

Executive Director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Wound Center and Director of the Ohio State University's Center for Regenerative Medicine & Cell Based Therapies. Mice with badly injured legs that lacked blood flow were healed within three weeks and blood flow was restored.

"This is hard to imagine, but it is achievable, successfully working about 98 per cent of the time". Through this process, the DNA will be converted to the specific building block cells of the damaged body part.

"The concept is very simple". There were no side effects reported with the treatment, which also was used to grow brain cells in mice who suffered strokes.

Dr Sen added: "By using our novel nanochip technology, injured or compromised organs can be replaced. So this is the beginning, more to come".

Scientists said the procedure is non-invasive and does not require a laboratory, meaning it could be used in hospitals and GP surgeries.

The researchers still wait for FDA approval and for the first time in four years since they started the project, the researchers will be able to test TNT on humans.



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