The technology in our time is developing so quickly that different kinds of news just do not have time to be surprised. That artificial intelligence wins the world's best players. That scientists with the help of bionic systems achieve unique results in restoring the motor abilities of monkeys. And there are hundreds of such news, one more amazing than the other. Now our attention was attracted by another news that relates simultaneously to genetics and electronics.
The fact is that the State University of Ohio has developed a technology that allows you to quickly repair damaged tissue. This technology is called "tissue nanotransfection" (English tissue nanotransfection or TNT). There is a technology in a special chip that "injects" the genetic code into the skin cells, provoking the transformation of cells from one type into another.
During the testing, researchers were able to "reprogram" the skin cells in such a way that they were transformed into vascular cells. The work on converting one kind of cells into another was carried out on the severely damaged mouse foot, in which there was practically no circulation. After just one week, scientists recorded the appearance of blood vessels in the foot, and after another two weeks the foot was completely restored. In addition, "reprogramming" was conducted with mouse cells with a stroke. Scientists suggest that the technology they have created is suitable for restoring not only tissues, but also entire organs and even nerve cells. For the first time, experts have shown the transformation of cells of one species into the cells of another in a living organism (referring to the transformation initiated by man).
One of the authors of the study with the "transforming chip"
All the equipment for this operation weighs about 100 grams. Also, the chip is non-invasive, it does not need to be sewn. The device introduces genetic material into the skin cells by means of weak electrical discharges. They are almost not felt by man or animal. For its use, laboratory conditions are not necessary, that is, it is possible to operate the system practically in any conditions. And this means that you can work with it even in regions remote from civilization. As potential patients, scientists call people affected by the accident or soldiers wounded on the battlefield.
So far, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA, USFDA) has not yet approved the technology, but the review procedure has already been undermined. If everything goes well, then the first clinical trials with human patients will take place next year.
"The idea is very simple. In fact, we were even surprised how well this all works. Now in my laboratory we are conducting research in order to understand the mechanism to the end and make the technology even more effective. So this is only the beginning, "said one of the representatives of the Chengdan Sen project.
The technology proposed by scientists is not unique. Something similar is being developed now by other researchers. But in this case, experts have avoided the need to use intermediate stages. In most cases, the cells of the donor organism are first extracted, then processed, and then reintroduced into the same organism, where the final transformation of skin cells into stem cells takes place. This path takes much longer than the technology proposed by the Americans from the University of Ohio.
In addition, in this case, the use of viruses or "manual" work with DNA is not required. The electrical discharge opens the pores of the bilayer lipid membrane in the cells through which the genetic material is introduced. This phenomenon, called electroporation, is used in biotechnology to implant macromolecules (usually DNA or RNA) into cells of mammals, bacteria or plants.
The new code "reprograms" the cell, so that the skin cell can turn into a liver cell, nerve cell or cage Other type. One of the key features of the technology is the ability to carry out the transformation "on the go" without a laboratory and complex equipment (except the chip), as already mentioned above. As for nerve cells, this same group of researchers managed to turn skin cells into neurons of the brain, with full functionality.
Of course, it takes a lot of time to test all the results of the voiced experiments. Approval of regulators is also necessary. Scientists remain optimistic, believing that the technology they have created is the future.