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Scientists Make A Working Human Heart Tissue Out Of A Spinach Leaf

Spinach Leaf Into Heart Tissue (6)

Source: Bored Panda

Regenerative medicine is a branch of science attempting to create human tissue from cells in a laboratory for the treatment of damaged organs. Scientists at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusets have transformed a spinach leaf into a functional human heart tissue. This is a significant step forward in regenerative medicine, also called tissue engineering.

Source: Mashable

This is not the first successful attempt at creating a functional human tissue. Scientists have created tissue in laboratories with a purpose to replace tissues and organs that get damaged or fail due to a disease. All the tissue created on a large scale in the labs until now lacked the vascular network for carrying the blood which causes a large part of the tissue to die.

The Worcester Polytechnic Institute researchers used a spinach leaf to obtain a cellulose frame by removing all its plant cells. The authors write in the paper, “Cellulose is biocompatible [and] has been used in a wide variety of regenerative medicine applications, such as cartilage tissue engineering, bone tissue engineering, and wound healing.”

Source: Bored Panda
Source: Science Direct

Next, the team bathed the cellulose frame in live human cells which began to grow in the leafs veins. The little heart tissue had a working vascular system left behind by the spinach leaf through which fluids and microbeads flowed.

Source: Bored Panda
Source: Bored Panda

Heart attack patients can be treated by growing layers of the same heart tissue to form a healthy heart muscle. “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,” said the co-author Glenn Gaudette.

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Read more about the research here.

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