Nanochip can grow new organ tissue and heal injuries

Growing new organs in a lab is a feat that medicine cannot yet do, but an Ohio State University research team thinks it has found a way to program the human body's own cells to grow new organ tissue on its own.

Josh Curlee | Aug 09, 2017

   

Growing new organs in a lab is a feat that medicine cannot yet do, but an Ohio State University research team thinks it has found a way to program the human body's own cells to grow new organ tissue on its own. The researchers debuted a nano-chip device that appears to jumpstart regrowth of damaged blood vessels and other body tissues after just a second of contact.

Writing in a recently published article in Nature, the researchers explained that the device holds nanochips. When they touch an injury site with the device, the nanochips fire DNA into the skin cells via an electric current, and the genetic infusion induces the cells to start producing any type of cellskin cell or otherthat the patient needs. Tissue Nanotransfection (TNT), as they are calling the procedure, takes as little as one second of direct contact between the nanochips and the skin cells, and the cell regrowth will occur over the next several days.

"With this technology, we can convert skin cells into elements of any organ with just one touch," said Dr. Chandan Sen, who led the study. "This process only takes less than a second and is non-invasive, and then you're off. The chip does not stay with you, and the reprogramming of the cell starts."

Sen and his team hope that this procedure could be a potent treatment for patients recovering from major reconstructive surgery and those who are suffering organ trouble due to cells prematurely aging. It might even help undo the cell damages of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, they said.

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