Remember when you were a child, you fell down and ripped your jeans – and your mother sewed a patch on it, maybe with Mickey Mouse, a flower or even Spider-Man. The trousers might have looked a little different afterwards, but you could still wear them. Even your body can create patches: scab on a wound. But unlike the textile patch, it will eventually fall off and underneath will be brand new skin. The human body is able to fix itself after damage just like your mother did with needle and thread. One fascinating example for this is the liver, which can regrow after parts have been removed.
This ability is the base for regenerative medicine, a quite novel and astonishing field of biomedicine.
Regenerative medicine deals with the process of replacing, engineering or regenerating human cells, tissues or organs to restore or establish normal function and is a branch of translational research in tissue engineering and molecular biology. By stimulating the body’s own repair mechanisms to functionally heal previously irreparable tissues or organs, this field holds the promise of engineering and replacing damaged tissues and organs.
Regenerative medicine is also important for new approaches in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, paraplegia or cancer, but also common diseases such as diabetes mellitus, coronary heart disease or obesity are to be cured by regenerative medicine in the future.
Regenerative medicine could provide a big advantage in matters of organ donation and the problem of organ transplant rejection, if a regenerated organ’s cells would be derived from the patient’s own tissue or cells.
The most prominent example for regenerative medicine might be cell therapy in cancer treatment. It’s understood to mean the injection of cellular material into a patient. These are generally intact, living cells such as T-cells. These cells are capable of fighting cancer cells through cell-mediated immunity and may be injected in the process of immunotherapy.
Furthermore, with regenerative medicine it is even possible to grow tissues and organs in a lab and implant them when the body cannot heal itself.
Already in 2006, Dr. Anthony Atala transplanted a bladder printed out of the patient’s own tissue cells in a 3D Printer. Not only did this entirely heal the young patient, it even made him captain of a high school sports team, which was simply impossible beforehand.
“If you can think about it and imagine it and you don’t have the tools to do it today … most likely you should have the tools to do it tomorrow.”
– Dr. Anthony Atala
In the eleven years since this experimental and greatly successful surgery, a lot has happened in this field and also within the team around Dr. Atala at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
They now can print cartilage, bone and muscle tissue, which have already been successfully implanted in rodents. After monitoring the rodents for months, it was confirmed that the tissue had developed a system of blood vessels and nerves.
Click here to check out Dr. Anthony Atala’s Session at XPOMET© Convention 2018.
Source: Daily Mail
So if you think it cannot get any more fascinating than this you’re mistaken. Let me introduce you to the chip that reprograms cells.
I’m talking about a brand new technology, which is called Tissue Nanotransfection (TNT) and has been developed by researchers at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Ohio State’s College of Engineering. And it’s almost hard to believe, but the innovative technology can generate any cell type of interest for treatment within the patient’s own body. So in the future, this could be restoring function of aging tissue, including organs, blood vessels and nerve cells as well as the reparation of injured tissue.
Leading researcher behind this groundbreaking method is Dr. Chandan Sen, director of Ohio State’s Center of Regenerative Medicine & Cell Based Therapies.
“By using our novel nanochip technology, injured or compromised organs can be replaced. We have shown that skin is a fertile land where we can grow the elements of any organ that is declining.”
– Dr. Chandan Sen
TNT technology has two major components: A nanotechnology-based chip designed to deliver cargo to adult cells in the live body and second the design of specific biological cargo for cell conversion.
To create this technology, the researchers studied mice and pigs in different experiments. In the study, they were able to reprogram skin cells. These skin cells became vascular cells in badly injured legs that lacked blood flow.
Quite swift, active blood vessels appeared in the injured leg which saved the leg within only two weeks. The technology has also been tested in labs to reprogram skin cells in the live body into nerve cells. These cells were injected into brain-injured mice which could help them to recover from stroke.
And as if this all wasn’t enough Dr. Chandan Sen speaks about a success rate of 98 percent.
“With this technology, we can convert skin cells into elements of any organ with just one touch. This process only takes less than a second and is non-invasive, and then you’re off. The chip does not stay with you, and the reprogramming of the cell starts. Our technology keeps the cells in the body under immune surveillance, so immune suppression is not necessary”, Sen says.
Furthermore the researchers plan to start clinical trials next year to test this technology in humans.
Dr. Sen will be the Opening Speaker of the second day of the XPOMET© Innovation Congress, where he will present the breakthrough that Tissue Nanotransfection Technology is for regenerative medicine and healthcare all over the globe. Click here to check out his session.
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Text by Josefine Hofmann
Source Cover Picture: Science Daily