One little chip to cure them all: a milestone in regenerative medicine

One little chip to cure them all: a milestone in regenerative medicine

We are facing a new milestone in regenerative medicine that could soon restore any organ in the body, a device that uses nano-transfer of tissues to regenerate entire organs with a simple touch .

A team of researchers from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical School and the Ohio University College of Engineering in Columbus have been responsible for this development.

Regenerative medicine

The chip is placed on the skin and with a simple touch, a small, almost imperceptible electric current forges channels in the tissue. The device changes the cellular function of the organism in a non-invasive way; It is based on a type of nanotechnology called tissue nano- transfer , which can reprogram living adult cells into any other type of cell.

It basically has two parts : Using nanotechnology, a genetic load is injected into cells. The second element is the genetic load itself: the chip carries a specific genetic code in the form of DNA or RNA that, when applied to cells, changes their previous structure and functions and reprograms them as necessary to repair the injury.

So far, the device has been tested in mice, applying the technology to the skin of injured paws, whose blood flow was blocked. The device successfully transformed the skin cells of the mice into vascular cells . As Chandan Sen , leader of the work, explains:

This is difficult to imagine, but we can achieve it, as we are working with successes of around 98% of the cases. With this technology, we can convert skin cells into elements of any organ with a single touch. It takes just under a second and is non-invasive.

It is not a new technique, since the discovery was made by John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka (Nobel Prize in 2012), but according to Sen, its avande is significant, since the intermediate step of creating pluripotent cells is avoided: it is directly passed from cells to other functional cells:

We can change the fate of cells by incorporating some new genes. Basically, we can take a skin cell and put some genes that turn into another cell, for example a neuron, or a vascular cell, or a stem cell.

Given its non-invasive nature, scientists plan to start human clinical trials next year.