Nanochip reprograms skin cells to help heal injuries

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Researchers at Ohio State University have developed new technology that allows the body to generate any type of cell to help heal injuries.

According to a university press release, the technique, called tissue nanotransfection or TNT, uses a fingernail-sized nanochip which is placed over a patient's skin or tissue. A droplet containing genetic material is placed on top of the chip, and then zapped with an electrical current.

The DNA is delivered through channels created by the current, and it reprograms skin cells to turn into specific cell types that can then be used in other parts of the body.

When tested on a mouse with a damaged leg, researchers found vascular cells converted from skin cells formed new blood vessels that allowed the leg to heal in two weeks.

The non-invasive technology was also able to generate nerve cells in the legs of brain-damaged mice. Once the cells were harvested, they were injected into the brain to help with stroke recovery.

The nanochip also tested effectively in pigs and is expected to be approved for human trials within a year.

The team's research has been published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.


RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Tissue nanotransfection nanochip placed on skin with genetic material, zapped with electric current
2. Skin cells reprogrammed to become other types of cells
3. Mouse with injured leg healed after skin cells reprogrammed to grow into blood vessels
4. Skin cells turned into nerve cells injected into brain-injured mouse

VOICEOVER (in English):

"Tissue nanotransfection involves placing a fingernail-sized nanochip on a patient's skin, adding a droplet of genetic material, and zapping it with an electrical current."

"The DNA is delivered through channels created by the current, and it reprograms skin cells to turn into specific cell types that can then be used in other parts of the body."

"When tested on a mouse with a damaged leg, researchers found vascular cells converted from skin cells formed new blood vessels that allowed the leg to heal in two weeks."

"The non-invasive technology was also able to generate nerve cells in the legs of brain-damaged mice. Once the cells were harvested, they were injected into the brain to help with stroke recovery."


SOURCES:
Ohio State University, Columbus Dispatch
https://news.osu.edu/news/2017/08/07/regenerative-med-study/
http://www.dispatch.com/news/20170807/ohio-state-researchers-report-breakthrough-in-cell-regeneration