TNT is generally not something you want lying around in the Operating Room, but in this case, “TNT” isn’t another name for dynamite. Tissue Nanotransfection, a new technology developed by scientists at The Ohio State University, involves a deceptively small device that starts the healing process in less than a second.
A silicon chip the size of a dime is placed on the affected area and injects genetic material into the skin. The skin cells transform into cells that treat various diseases and conditions.
It takes less than a second to inject the reprogrammed DNA. The chip is placed on the skin in an injured area, a small electrical current is applied, and DNA is shot into the cells. The regenerative process begins immediately. Skin cells can be converted into just about any organ and The Ohio State team reports a 98 percent success rate.
Although TNT is pending FDA approval, the scientists have reported some jaw-dropping findings. Using TNT on mice and pigs, the researchers reprogrammed skin cells and transformed them into vascular cells. They were able to restore blood flow to a severely injured leg within a week and save it all together in two weeks. By reprogramming the nerve cells of mice, the scientists were also able to help them recover from strokes.
If all goes well, the team plans to conduct clinical trials in humans starting in 2018. One thing’s for sure: everyone from doctors to patients to soldiers in the field will be watching closely.