Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Researchers at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have developed a breakthrough technology to generate any cell type for treatment in the body.
The Tissue Nanotransfection, or TNT, can is capable of generating any cell type for treatment and can be used to repair injured tissue or restore function to aging tissue.
The study, published today in Nature Nanotechnology, was conducted on mice and pigs.
Researchers were able to reprogram skin cells to become vascular cells in severely injured legs that lacked blood flow. Active blood vessels appeared within one week and the legs were saved within two weeks.
"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," Dr. Chandan Sen, director of Ohio State's Center for Regenerative Medicine & Cell Based Therapies, said in a press release.
"This is difficult to imagine, but it is achievable, successfully working about 98 percent of the time. With this technology, we can convert skin cells into elements of any organ with just one touch. This process only takes less than a second and is non-invasive, and then you're off. The chip does not stay with you, and the reprogramming of the cell starts. Our technology keeps the cells in the body under immune surveillance, so immune suppression is not necessary."
TNT is a nanotechnology-based chip designed to deliver cargo to adult cells in the body and the design of specific biological cargo for cell conversion. The cargo is delivered by a small electrical charge zapping the device.
It doesn't require laboratory-based procedures, is non-invasive and can me implemented at the point of care.
Clinical trials are expected to begin next year to test the technology in humans.