Imagine never having to fear injury, disease, or any sort of infection again, if the cure was the size of a nanochip that is capable of healing any human organ?
The concept seems sci-fi, but the Telegraph recently reported on the breakthrough invention by scientists from Ohio State University that claims to be capable of re-growing damaged organs and healing serious wounds.
Called “tissue nanotransfection (TNT),” the device uses nanochips to “reprogram” skin cells by placing a pad of said nanochips over the damaged area; which can then generate any type of cell needed for the treatment, said Dr. Chandan Sen, who led the study.
It is a non-invasive (meaning it does not require medical instruments to be in the body) procedure, and in their laboratory trials, it was able to restore the function of badly damaged blood cells in a short span of days.
The TNT works through small electric currents that fire DNA into the skin cells, converting them into the specific building block cells of any other part of the body, such as arteries, or even organs like the heart, the Telegraph reported.
Sen has said that it can improve the chances of patients who need complex reconstructive surgery, and for those whose organs are prematurely ageing and have chances of failing earlier.
The US team hopes that it can even be used to combat neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, which have no cure but only treatments to ease the effects like seizures.
Tests of the device has so far been effective on pigs and mice, with a “98 percent success rate.”
Describing it in detail, Sen said in one experiment, the severely injured leg of a mouse showed improvement in blood flow shortly after having the patch applied, and then in two weeks was substantially restored after the pad reprogrammed skin cells to create vascular cells.
Researchers plan to start clinical trials on humans next year.
“The chip does not stay with you, and the reprogramming of the cell starts,” said Sen.
The Ohio State University team had high hopes for TNT because unlike stem cell therapy, a patient did not need to undergo laboratory based tests ahead of the actual operation, meaning it could be used in an everyday healthcare setting when needed.
The report added that because the new reprogrammed cells were “under the guidance” of the patient’s immune system, it cancelled out the need for immunosuppressant drugs usually necessary when biological matter, like stem cells, is transplanted.
The study is published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology and researchers plan to start testing on humans next year.