Amazing device can heal with single touch

Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have developed a chip that can heal damaged body functions with a single touch.
By Carmelo Sheppard | Aug 14, 2017
Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have developed a chip that can heal damaged body functions with a single touch.

The technique, called Tissue Nanotransfection (TNT), slips genetic code into skin cells, transforming them into other types of cells needed for treating disease.

The study is published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

"It takes just a fraction of a second," said co-author Chandan Sen, Ph.D., in a statement. "You simply touch the chip to the wounded area, then remove it. At that point, the cell reprogramming begins."

Researchers applied the chip to injured legs of mice that had little or no blood flow.

"We reprogrammed their skin cells to become vascular cells," Sen said. "Within a week we began noticing the transformation." By the third week, active blood vessels had formed and the legs of the mice were saved.

The incredible chip contains certain genetic code or proteins and is placed directly on the skin, where a tiny electric current creates channels in the tissue. DNA or RNA flowing into those channels takes hold and begins reprogramming the cells. The technique worked up to 98 percent of the time.

"What's even more exciting is that it not only works on the skin, but on any type of tissue," said Sen.

In one lab test, the researchers grew brain cells on a mouse's skin, collected them, then injected them into the animal's brain after it had a stroke. Just a few weeks later, the mouse's brain function was restored.

The team expects to be able to start clinical trials within a year.

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