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This small device uses tissue nanotransfection to regenerate full organs at the touch of a finger. (Picture courtesy: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.)

When this chip is placed on the skin, it sends a weak electric pulse known as a Nano channel through body tissue, the scientists explain. DNA or RNA data travel through these channels in less than one second and commences the curing process instantly

It must be welcome news for many that Nano technology enables regeneration of cells to replace damaged cells in any organ without using any drug or invasive procedure that could cause side effects.

Controlling human functions and curing ailments by insertion of electronic circuits was the stuff of science fiction in the past. But it is no longer fiction. At present, scientists are capable of correcting certain disabilities by inserting electronic circuits to the body. For an example, recently immobilized patients were made to walk to some extent with the aid of electronic circuits.

According to the latest research paper published in the Nature Nano Technology journal, a team of researchers of Wexner Medical Institute Faculty of the Ohio University of Columbus, US together with researchers in the Engineering Faculty there discovered an amazing treatment for patients.

According to the research, a damaged organ can be repaired just by making the patient touch a small chip, without inserting any other device or administering any drug. The chip is manufactured using nanotechnology and the treatment technique is called the Tissue Nano transfection. Transfection is a technique of introducing DNA to the body cells externally. Even today this transfection technique is used but a virus is used to introduce DNA to the body. But using a virus to introduce DNA to the body is a rather risky method that may cause serious side effects. In contrast this method, which uses chips to introduce DNA is much safer, the researches concede.

Director of the   Ohio  Medical Institute Dr. Chandan Sen and Professor of the Chemical Engineering  Faculty of  Ohio University Prof. James Lee are the pioneers in this research project.

Simply explained, there are two features in this treatment method. One is the chip which, when touch it touches the body introduces its gene data to the body. The second stage starts after the gene data is introduced to the body.

This chip contains DNA or RNA data. Once these data enter a cell the structure and function of the cell change according to the data supplied by the chip and produces a new cell.

When this chip is placed on the skin, it sends a weak electric pulse known as a Nano channel through body tissue, the scientists explain. DNA or RNA data travel through these channels in less than one second and commences the curing process instantly.
Initially, the researchers used this technology to treat several mice whose legs were injured and blood circulation to the legs was blocked. The chip was able to regenerate the cells of blood vessels.

In the course of one week researchers observed the conversion of cells. In the second week, they observed skin cells changing into blood vessel cells. In the third week, the injuries of the mice were completely healed without any medicine.

“The most important feature in this procedure is that it can be used to treat any impaired tissue,” says Dr. Sen.

The second phase of the research process is more significant as it could turn skin cells into brain cells to treat a mouse that suffered a stroke. Due to the stroke, a main blood vessel in the brain of the mouse was blocked and the researchers transplanted new cells to the damaged brain and restored it to normalcy in a few weeks.

The researchers claim that their experiments are 98 per cent successful and intend to extend it to human bodies in the coming years.

It is no doubt that this is great news for the medical fraternity as well as ordinary people that this new no risk, noninvasive technique can produce new cells in a damaged organ sans side effects.

(Translated by Ananda Elkaduwa)

It works by injecting DNA into skin cells - switching their function to rescue failing organs. (Pic courtesy: SWNS)
It works by injecting DNA into skin cells – switching their function to rescue failing organs. (Pic courtesy: SWNS)
Researcher Chandan Sen with the nanotechnology-based chip designed to deliver biological ‘cargo’ for cell conversion (Pic courtesy: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center)
Researcher Chandan Sen with the nanotechnology-based chip designed to deliver biological ‘cargo’ for cell conversion (Pic courtesy: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center)