Your body’s cellular structure is programmable, making it possible for it to be changed into other kinds of cells. And today, already a number of scientific studies have found at least a couple of ways to reprogram certain types of human cells. Using these methods, the body can potentially become a future ‘gold mine’ of healthy cells, and secondly, it becomes possible to personalize the medicines with the help of nanotechnology that can easily be used to treat injuries, treat cerebrovascular event, and even recover the functionality of aging organs.
A research conducted a couple of years ago and published in Nature Nanotechnology explains the growth of Tissue Nanotransfection (TNT), a new technology that can easily transform a mature cell from one kind to another.
This study was contributed by L. James Lee, Ph.D. and Chandan Sen, Ph.D., experts at The Ohio University.
Chandan and his fellow colleagues developed a specialized processor biochip that has been used to heal the injured lower limbs of a mouse, reprogramming and converting the mouse’s skin cells into vascular cells.
After only a couple of weeks, active arteries were created, consequently saving the lower limbs of the mouse.
This means that we’ve already got the technology which is expected to be acknowledged for human tests within a year, Chandan said.
What Exactly Is Nanotechnology?
This breakthrough discovery in gene therapies is made achievable through the use of nanotechnology, the particular manipulation of matter at such a scale where different properties of materials become dominant.
This means that the biological, physical, and chemical attributes of materials are very different at the particular nearly atomic level compared to those at the larger scales we are observing on a daily basis.
A nanometer is actually a billionth of a meter. For comparison, a typical genetic ‘particle’ is two nanometers in size. Nanotechnology’s scale level is approximately 1 to 100 nanometers.
For example, at the nanoscale, gold demonstrates different colors apart from what it does at the macro scale noticeable to the unaided eye. This particular property can certainly be applied in lab tests to indicate disease or infection.
“Gold is actually yellow-colored at the mass level, however at the specific nanoscale level, gold seems red-colored,” said Medical professional, Lisa Friedersdorf, director in the National Nanotechnology Initiative and National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO).
The NNCO harmonizes the nanotechnology initiatives of twenty authorities agencies.
Scientists expect take wide-scale advantage of tools to make it possible for us to produce and manage materials at the nanoscale. Scientists can certainly create a nanoparticle with a new payload inside to make a concentrated medicine effect directly to specific cells. Pretty soon, we should be in a position to find and treat disease with perfection. We’re already able to personalize medication and have the ability to target disease meticulously.
How Tissue Nanotransfection (TNT) Works
Tissue Nanotransfection works by supplying a particular organic cargo (plasma molecules, RNA, and DNA) for cell conversion into another live cell with a help of highly specialized nanotechnology-based chips.
This particular cargo is sent by quickly zapping a chip with a tiny electrical charge.
Nanofabrication process made it possible for Sen and his co-workers to produce a chip that can easily supply a cargo of hereditary code into a new cell.
“Think about the chip as a needle but reduced in size,” Sen said. “We are injecting hereditary code into cells.”
The short pulse of electrical current of the stamp-sized device makes a route outside the body of the target cell that enables the placement of the genetic load.
To imagine this process, we can assume the cell to be like a tennis ball. When the whole surface area of the cell experiences electrical shock, the cell is destroyed, or its particular capabilities are reduced. The technologies ‘use’ just 3 % of the surface area of the ball. The team explains that they place the dynamic cargo into the cell through that artificially-generated route, and after the procedure, the route closes, so there’s no harm.
Cellular reprogramming is not a new technology. However, researchers previously focused entirely on transforming stem cells into other kinds of cells. This process is still being carried out in different laboratories.
In a certain sense, the authors of this research could not ‘agree’ with this method. While converting a cell in the laboratory, it is done in a synthetic, simple, and sterile setting such as a petri dish. When the cell is ‘launched’ in the body, it often does not act as planned.
“All of us decided to go upside-down. We sidestepped the laboratory procedure and transferred the reprogramming process to the live body,” he said.
This point-of-action will make it possible for private hospitals to consider TNT sooner than when the process was restricted to research facilities.
The recovery from injury by transforming skin cells into general cells to replenish arteries is a one confirmed application of TNT.
Sen’s colleagues produced neurological cells by the particular conversion process, inserting the newly created neurotissue from the skin of mice with the brain damage from stroke. The replacement saved brain functionality that would, in any other case, have been irreversible.
Sen envisions further applications of TNT, such as organ healing. He said, that it could be possible enter the failing body organ with an endoscopic catheter carrying a chip to alter cells and recover the organ performance. According to the researchers, it does not need to be an epidermis cell. It may be an extra fat tissue.
Sen with his exceptional team is trying to find a commercial partner to fabricate chips developed for practical applications in human therapies.
Then the clinical trials should start.
In the long run, Sen plans to pursue other developments in the nanoscience-based fields of health and fitness.
“I am a researcher and scientist, but this was encouraged by the desire to put a direct impact on health and fitness,” Sen said. “Our primary goal is to impact.”