It sounds like #sciencefiction: with a light zap of electricity, a tiny stamp-like device transforms your skin cells into reservoirs of blood vessels or brain cells, ready to heal you from within.
Recently, a team of medical mavericks at the #OhioStateUniversity introduced a device that does just that. The technology, dubbed tissue nanotransfection (TNT), is set to blow up the field of organ regeneration.
When zapped with a light electrical jolt, the device shoots extra bits of #DNA code from its nanotube arrays directly into tiny pores in the skin. There, the DNA triggers the cells to shed their identity and reprograms them into other cell types that can be harvested to repair damaged organs.
Remarkably, the effect spreads with time. The rebooted cells release tiny membrane bubbles onto their neighboring skin cells, coaxing them to undergo transformation. Like zombies, but for good.
So far, the device has already been used to generate neurons to protect the brains of mice with experimental stroke. The team also successfully healed the legs of injured mice by turning the skin cells on their hind limbs into a forest of blood vessels.
While still a ways from human use, scientists believe future iterations of the technology could perform a myriad of medical wonders: repairing damaged organs, relieving brain degeneration, or even restoring aged tissue back to a youthful state. “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,” says lead author Dr. Chandan Sen, who published the result in Nature Nanotechnology. “In my lab, we have ongoing research trying to understand the mechanism and do even better,” adds Dr. L. James Lee, who co-led the study with Sen. “So, this is the beginning, more to come.” The #Ohio team’s research builds on an age-old idea in regenerative medicine: that even aged bodies have the ability to produce and integrate healthy, youthful cells—given the right set of cues. 🖐🏾More in comments👇🏾#Transhumanism #BioHacking