UW-Madison engineers have developed a method for improving the body’s uptake of certain gene therapies through controlled electrical stimulation.

In a recent study published in the journal PLOS ONE, electrical engineering researchers found that delivering harmless pulses of electricity to liver cells caused them to absorb 40 times as much gene therapy than those that weren’t shocked.

This type of therapy uses genetic material to prevent or treat certain diseases. One such therapy focused on Type 1 diabetes was developed by the late Hans Sollinger, a UW-Madison transplant surgeon who died last year.

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