Researchers at Ohio State Universtiy have developed a small, dime-sized silicone device - known as Tissue Nanotransfection - that uses nanotechnology to reprogram a person's cells.
"Seven days later, we saw new vessels and 14 days later, we saw [blood flow] through the whole leg", said Sen.
In one experiment, a badly damaged mouse leg was saved by the technology creating new blood vessels in tissue that had previously been lacking blood flow.
Researchers also said that the TNT is not limited on skin cells.
If successful, this would be the first time that cells were reprogrammed in a living body, a scientific breakthrough.
The Guardian said that, according to researchers, this turns the patients' skin into a "bioreactor", allowing it to fix damaged tissue in the applied area or at another site on the body. "We have shown that skin is a fertile land where we can grow the elements of any organ that is declining", Dr. Chandan Sen, director of Ohio State's Center for Regenerative Medicine & Cell Based Therapies, said in a press release.
"This is hard to imagine, but it is achievable, successfully working about 98% of the time". In lab tests, the technology was able to reprogramme skin cells in the live body into nerve cells that were injected into brain-injured mice to help them recover from stroke.
In a series of lab tests, researchers from Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center applied the chip to the injured legs of mice that vascular scans showed had little to no blood flow. Additionally, this technology does away with the need to use viruses as a delivery system for the new cells.
Scientists said the procedure is non-invasive and does not require a laboratory, meaning it could be used in hospitals and GP surgeries.
"By using our novel nanochip technology, injured or compromised organs can be replaced".
The concept is very simple, adds co-author James Lee: "As a matter of fact, we were even surprised how it worked so well". Researchers grew brain cells on the skin surface of a mouse, harvested them and then injected them into the brain. For a long time researchers have tried to come up with a mechanism that could treat and even fix brain injuries.
Since the method uses a patient's own cells and does not depend upon medication, the Researchers anticipate it to be approved for human trials by the end of the year.