Scientists modified the spinach leaf by removing its plant cells (de-cellularization)
Every leaf Mother Nature has ever created contains a branching network comprised of thin and very fragile veins that deliver water and nutrients to the cells of the growing plant. Scientists can now use these plant veins to duplicate the way blood flows through human heart tissue. By removing the plant cells from the spinach leaves, what remains is a frame comprised of cellulose. The next step involved bathing the plant frame in live human cells in the hopes that human tissue would grow on it and the surrounding tiny veins.
Once this aspect was successful, the spinach leaf was literally transformed into a makeshift human heart and fluids were pumped through the new veins to validate the fact that blood cells could stream in the same manner. According to study authors: “Cellulose is bio-compatible [and] has been used in a wide variety of regenerative medicine applications, such as cartilage tissue engineering, bone tissue engineering, and wound healing.”
#3.Spinach Leaf Vascular Network
The heart of the matter has made bio-engineering news
# 4. Human Heart
The exciting results of this breakthrough study that has made bio-engineering news indicate that the goal of being able to replace damaged tissue in patients who have had heart attacks or who have suffered other cardiac issues will soon become a reality. In the same manner as living blood vessels, the veins in the modified leaves could deliver oxygen to the replacement tissue, which is essential in generating new organic body material.
The future of cardiac care looks promising
Besides spinach leaves, the researchers were also able to remove plant cells from parsley, sweet wormwood and peanut hairy roots and plan to experiment further with those. Study co-author Glenn Gaudette said: “We have a lot more work to do, but so far this is very promising. Adapting abundant plants that farmers have been cultivating for thousands of years for use in tissue engineering could solve a host of problems limiting the field.
Hope for longevity through vegetables has not only made bio-engineering news, but has also expanded its meaning.
Go greener and…go figure.