What was once Star Trek stuff is now approaching reality: soon entire organs could be "cured" with a simple microchip. A research team from Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Ohio State's College of Engineering has developed a technology that can be described as astounding.
The device changes the cell's functions in a non-invasive way, and is based on a type of nanotechnology called nano tissue transfection, which can reprogram adult cells into other cell types.
The new study, led by dr. Chandan sen, director of the Ohio State University Center for Regenerative Medicine and L. James Lee, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Ohio State's College of Engineering was published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
How it works
The technology is based on two main elements: one is the microchip capable of injecting a genetic load into cells, and the other is the genetic load itself, which changes the function of the cells by repairing them.
Here is a video that illustrates how the system works:
The reprogramming factors are conveyed inside the cells by "intense and targeted electric fields, through tiny nanochannels". In other words, the chip is placed on the skin and with a simple touch an electric current structures the microchannels inside the tissues: DNA or RNA is then sent through these channels which begins to give a new identity and a new function to the cells. "It takes a fraction of a second: you touch the microchip on the affected area, then you remove it and the reprogramming process begins."
The team tested the device in mice with vascular problems in their legs: within the first week of applying the microchip, the skin cells of the mice were transformed into vascular cells. In the second week the cells became fully functional blood vessels, and in the third the rodent legs were completely healed without any drug intervention.
Not only with the skin: it works with all fabrics
In a second set of experiments, the researchers used the device to turn skin cells into brain cells that helped repair the affected area (the middle cerebral artery), and within a few weeks the rats' brains were up and running again. .
I understand that you seem impossible to imagine, but it is a REAL research and it has a huge effectiveness rate, around 98%. On the other hand, transfection methods are already being used, but the current use of viruses is very invasive and can cause serious side effects.