The healing powers of nanotechnology

A new nanochip technology holds the promise for healing internal wounds by delivering specific genes that create new types of cells. Developed by a team at Ohio State University, the technology, called Tissue Nanotransfection, sits on the skin and uses an intense electrical field to deliver specific genes to the tissue underneath it, which can reprogram cells to replace tissue or even whole organs. The researchers have used the technology on animals to reprogram skin cells on the outside of injured legs to become vascular cells, which regulate blood flow through the body. Within a week, active blood vessels appeared in the injured legs, and a week later the injured legs were functioning normally. They also used the technology to generate nerve cells in the laboratory that were used to successfully help brain-injured mice recover from a stroke. The technology comprises two components: the nanochip that sits on the skin, about the size of a cufflink, which contains the biological cargo used to affect the tissue underneath. Zapping the chip with a harmless electrical charge releases the cargo into the cell membranes. To find out more go to Researchers Develop Regenerative Medicine Breakthrough.