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article imageMedical device heals organs with a single touch

By Tim Sandle     Aug 22, 2017 in Science
Medical technologists have developed a new device that can switch cell function in order to save failing body functions, via a single touch. The device is a Tissue Nanotransfection (TNT) and injects genetic code into skin cells.
The nano-channelled device has been developed at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and it has the ability to alter cell function by injecting genetic code directly into skin cells. The injection transforms skin cells into other types of cells required for treating diseased conditions. Alternatively the device can restore function of aging tissue. The device works with organs, blood vessels and nerve cells.
The Tissue Nanotransfection device is based on nanochip technology and it is based on skin being a vessel for growing the elements of any organ that is declining. The studies so far have been with mice and pigs. Studies have shown how the device can reprogram skin cells to become vascular cells in the damage legs of animals (where the injured legs lack blood flow). After one week, following the treatment, it was found that active blood vessels appeared within the injured leg. After a second week, the leg had recovered. What happened here was that skin cells had become reprogrammed. A second study transformed skin cells into nerve cells; these were then injected into brain-injured mice (where stroke was simulated). The mice recovered.
The research was led by Dr. Chandan Sen, who is the director of Ohio State's Center for Regenerative Medicine & Cell Based Therapies, and Professor L. James Lee, from Ohio State's College of Engineering. Dr. Sen told this university’s website: "With this technology, we can convert skin cells into elements of any organ with just one touch. This process only takes less than a second and is non-invasive, and then you're off.”
The researcher goes onto explain: “The chip does not stay with you, and the reprogramming of the cell starts. Our technology keeps the cells in the body under immune surveillance, so immune suppression is not necessary.”
Details about the device are outlined in the video below:
As to how Tissue Nanotransfection works, there are two critical parts. The first part is a nanotechnology-based chip designed to deliver adult cells in the live body. The second component is a specific biological cargo that allows for cell conversion.
Once the technology is commercialized its key selling point will be the fact it does not require
any laboratory-based procedures; it is non-invasive; and it can be used by medical staff at the point of care. The delivery of the genetic material is via a small electrical charge through the skin. Clinical trials on human subjects are set for 2018.
The new device has been reported to Nature Nanotechnology, where it is described in the research paper “Topical tissue nano-transfection mediates non-viral stroma reprogramming and rescue.”
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