A team of scientists from Imperial College London and Houston Methodist Research Institute have developed a new technique that helps promote the growth of new blood vessels. This angiogenesis relies on a specially designed bed of porous nanoneedles loaded with nucleic acids. When cells are placed on top of this structure, the needles penetrate their membranes, delivering the nucleic acids into their nuclei, which in turn promotes rapid growth.
The silicon needles actually remain within the cells, degrading within days without a trace, save for a bit of harmless orthosilicic acid. The team tested the new technology on human cells and on living mice, delivering the nucleic acids into their back muscles. A week following treatment, the muscles that were subject to the loaded nanoneedles showed a six-fold increase in angiogenesis that continued to generate another week later. Notably, there was no apparent increase in inflammation or any other noticeable side effects.
The researchers are looking at moving this technology forward to help repair damaged tissues, as well as in aiding with organ transplants.
Source: Imperial College London…