Scientist Are Creating Heart Tissue Using Spinach
Scientists from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) have discovered a way to build working human heart tissue using spinach. This could potentially solve a long-standing problem in efforts to repair damaged organs.
Because blood vessels are tiny, delicate and thin, it has been very difficult to make synthetic organs.
Joshua Gershlak, a graduate student at WPI comments, “The main limiting factor for tissue engineering is the lack of a vascular network. Without that vascular network, you get a lot of tissue death.”
Since leaves have a branching network of thin veins that transfer water and nutrients to its cells, scientist have been able to use their veins to replicate how blood moves through human tissue.
By removing the plant cells, it leaves behind a frame made of cellulose which is then pumped with a blood-like liquid. This could solve a host of problems when it comes to tissue engineering, thus, helping treat diseases.
Co-author of the study Glenn Gaudette says, “We have a lot more work to do, but so far this is very promising,”.
- The National Geographic. (https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/03/human-heart-spinach-leaf-medicine-science/). March 25, 2017. Delaney Ross. Spinach Leaf Transformed Into Beating Human Heart Tissue.
- Time. (http://time.com/4713700/spinach-leaf-heart-tissue/). March 27, 2017. Julia Zorthian. Researchers Turn Spinach Leaf into Beating Heart Tissue.