Updated on 18 May 2015
The team tested the new technology on human cells and living mice, which had the nucleic acids delivered into their back muscles
Singapore: A group of scientists from Imperial College London and Houston Methodist Research Institute, have developed an innovative technique that has promoted the growth of new blood vessels in the body.
This angiogenesis depended on a specially designed bed of porous Nano-needles which are loaded with nucleic acids. When cells are placed on top of this structure, the needles entered their membranes, delivering the nucleic acids into their nuclei, which in turn promotes rapid growth.
The silicon needles usually remain within the cells where they degraded in a couple of days, leaving no traces, save for a bit of harmless orthosilicic acid.
"This is a quantum leap compared to existing technologies for the delivery of genetic material to cells and tissues," said Mr Ennio Tasciotti, co-chair, Nano-medicine Department, Houston Methodist Research Institute.
The team tested the new technology on human cells and living mice, which had the nucleic acids delivered into their back muscles. A week of treatment followed, and the muscles that were subjected to the loaded Nano-needles showed a six-fold increase in angiogenesis that continued to generate week after. Overall, there was no apparent increase in inflammation or any other visible side effects.