(Mirror Daily, United States) – Regenerative medicine, which is the ability to regenerate tissue and heal all types of injuries by reprogramming cells from other parts of the body, seems like the stuff of science fiction. But in an extraordinary breakthrough, a team of researchers from Ohio State University has developed a new technology, called tissue nanotransfection, which can reprogram skin cells with a simple procedure.
New Nanotech Device and How It Works
The new technology consists of a small chip that delivers a microscopic nanotech device into the cells of the body. This device, depending on how it’s programmed, can manipulate cells on an atomic level and induce them into mimicking the cells from another organ. Most cells in the human body contain the necessary machinery that allows them to be converted into another cell type. So it merely takes some coercion from scientists to make them change.
Researchers activate the chip with a slight electrical charge to transform the cells. This non-invasive procedure takes less than a second to complete. Once the transformed cells have been harvested, the scientists can inject them into the damaged organ. The body then uses these cells to regenerate tissue.
According to a study paper, the research team conducted two experiments involving pigs and mice. In the first test, they were able to help mice heal from a stroke. The mice’s skin cells were reprogrammed into nerve cells and then injected into the brain. In the second laboratory test, the researchers were able to salvage a badly damaged leg by converting the animals’ skin cells into vascular cells. Within the first week, functioning blood vessels began to appear in the injured limb, restoring blood flow. Although full functionality was not completely restored, the scientists were able to save the leg. The procedure has applications for all types of injuries.
“This is difficult to imagine, but it is achievable, successfully working about 98 percent of the time,” said Dr. Chandan Sen, director of Ohio State’s Center for Regenerative Medicine and Cell Based Therapies.
However, it may take some time before the technology becomes a commercial reality. Researchers are planning to start clinical trials on humans next year.
Image Source: Flickr
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