Animal Model and Gene Therapy
In a next step, the team wants to test this cellular computation in an appropriate animal model, with the aim to build diagnostic and therapeutic tools in the future. This may sound like science fiction, but Benenson believes that this is feasible. However, there are still difficult problems to solve, for example the delivery of foreign genes into a cell efficiently and safely. Such DNA delivery is currently quite challenging. In particular this approach requires temporary rather than permanent introduction of foreign genes into the cells, but the currently available methods, both viral and chemical, are not fully developed and need to be improved.
We are still very far from a fully functional treatment method for humans. This work, however, is an important first step that demonstrates feasibility of such a selective diagnostic method at a single cell level, said Benenson.
|Contact: Kobi Benenson|
ETH Zurich/Swiss Federal Institute of Technology