|Researchers demonstrate how an electric field would be applied across the tiny device, allowing it to deliver genes to the skin cells beneath it – turning them into different types of cells. Photograph: The Ohio State University|
From The Ohio State University... "A tiny device that sits on the skin and uses an electric field to reprogram cells could be a breakthrough in the way we treat injured or ageing tissue."
Nanochip could heal injuries or regrow organs with one touch, say researchers,
Nicola Davis, The Guardian, 7 August 2017.
"A novel device that reprogrammes skin cells could represent a breakthrough in repairing injured or ageing tissue, researchers say.
"The new technique, called tissue nanotransfection, is based on a tiny device that sits on the surface of the skin of a living body. An intense, focused electric field is then applied across the device, allowing it to deliver genes to the skin cells beneath it – turning them into different types of cells.
"That, according to the researchers, offers an exciting development when it comes to repairing damaged tissue, offering the possibility of turning a patient’s own tissue into a “bioreactor” to produce cells to either repair nearby tissues, or for use at another site.
"'By using our novel nanochip technology, injured or compromised organs can be replaced,' said Chandan Sen, from the Ohio State University, who co-led the study. 'We have shown that skin is a fertile land where we can grow the elements of any organ that is declining.'"
"The ability for scientists to reprogram cells into other cell types is not new: the discovery scooped John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka the Nobel Prize in 2012 and is currently under research in myriad fields, including Parkinson’s disease."
"'You can change the fate of cells by incorporating into them some new genes,' said Dr Axel Behrens, an expert in stem cell research from the Francis Crick Institute in London, who was not involved in the Ohio research. 'Basically you can take a skin cell and put some genes into them, and they become another cell, for example a neuron, or a vascular cell, or a stem cell.'"
"But the new approach, says Sen, avoids an intermediary step where cells are turned into what are known as pluripotent stem cells, instead turning skin cells directly into functional cells of different types. 'It is a single step process in the body,' he said." - more -
Breakthrough Device Heals Organs with a Single Touch
Device instantly delivers new DNA or RNA into living skin cells to change their function.
|Click to view OSU nanotransfection video|