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Neural prosthesis can double as electroporation device

By Anette Breindl
Science Editor

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Researchers have come up with an unusual variation of the theme of drug-device combinations. They have used cochlear implants as electroporation devices to enable gene therapy during implantation, which in turn stimulated nerve outgrowth that allowed the implant to perform better. The team published their animal studies in the April 24, 2014, issue of Science Translational Medicine. Electrical current can be used to briefly increase the permeability of cell membranes for gene delivery. Companies like Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc., Maxcyte Inc. and Oncosec Medical Inc. use electroporation to deliver DNA, for vaccination or therapeutic purposes. (See BioWorld Today, Aug. 12, 2011.)

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