New organs are a very limited and desperately needed resource. Being able to generate new ones easily when they were needed, whether because of old age, trauma, or disease, would be a major medical breakthrough that would benefit a vast number of people. New work has taken us a step closer to being able to grow new organs.
Researchers have built on technology that is commonly used to deliver experimental materials into cells; they developed a nano-transfection technology that can transform any kind of cell in the body.
As seen in the video, a chip designed with nanotechnology gets put onto the skin, and after an electric current is applied, a cocktail of reagents can be sent into the skin cells under the chip. Those special reagents can trigger a host of changes in that cell. Those cells can even be transformed into stem cells. The researchers reported success with their methods in mice, and they are continuing to develop the technology for application in human patients.