Tissue Nanotransfection Technology Promises to Heal Damaged Tissue with a Zap

August 7, 2017 - Researchers at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center announced this week in Nature that they have developed a nanochip called Tissue Nanotransfection (TNT) that uses a small electrical current to deliver new DNA or RNA into living skin cells, "reprogramming" them and giving them a new function. These cells can then be repurposed to repair damaged tissue and restore function. Still in animal trials, the researchers are optimistic the technology could hold great promise for humans, from treating organ and tissue failure, to treating diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. 
Dr. Chandan Sen, Director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine and Cell-Based Therapies and the team leader said, “it takes just a fraction of a second. You simply touch the chip to the wounded area, then remove it. What’s even more exciting is that it not only works on the skin, but on any type of tissue. By using our novel nanochip technology, injured or compromised organs can be replaced.” In one case, the researchers were able to grow brain cells from the skin surface of a mouse that had suffered a stroke. The stem cells were then injected into the mouse’s injured brain, which led to increased brain function and mobility within weeks.  In another trial, the legs of a pig regained proper circulation and function when its skin cells were changed with TNT to active blood vessels.
The researchers are hopeful their technology could enable patients to safely alter their own tissue to accelerate healing and well-being. 


The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90RE5025-01-00). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this website do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.