The Ohio State University researchers have developed a new device that they claim can heal organs with just a single touch. The treatment procedure is also fast, taking less than a second.
In lab experiments, researchers found that just one touch of the TNT completely repaired the injured legs of lab mice over a three-week period by turning the skin cells of the animals into vascular cells.
Researchers also said that the TNT is not limited on skin cells. It can also restore other types of tissues. The technology, for instance, helped restore the brain function in a mouse that suffered a stroke by growing brain cells on the animal's skin.
"By using our novel nanochip technology, injured or compromised organs can be replaced. We have shown that skin is a fertile land where we can grow the elements of any organ that is declining," said study researcher Chandan Sen, from the Center for Regenerative Medicine and Cell-Based Therapies of The Ohio State University.
How It Works
The technology reprograms cells through a device that uses nanotechnology. The TNT treatment process starts with a dime-sized silicon chip being placed on the surface of the skin. A strong electric field is then applied across this device that injects genetic code into skin cells and turns these into other types of cells needed for treating diseased conditions. The process turns the skin into a "bioreactor" to repair damaged tissues.
No Known Side Effects
The breakthrough technology marks the first time that cells have been reprogrammed in a live body.
While currently used cell therapy methods such as those that involve the introduction of a virus and include several steps come with high risk, researchers said that there are no known side effects related to the use of TNT. The treatment also takes less than a second. Sen said that the technology neither requires a hospital nor a laboratory and that the treatment can be done in the field.
"We are the first to be able to reprogramme [cells] in the body without the use of any viral vector," Sen said. "This process only takes less than a second and is non-invasive, and then you're off."
The researchers are awaiting approval from the FDA to conduct human trials.