Spinach Leaves Stripped to Nourish Human Cells

A team of researchers found a new way of stripping plant cells to grow human tissue on a spinach leaf. This study holds promise for growing heart tissue on the spinach’s scaffold.

The team of researchers from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), University of Wisconsin-Madison and Arkansas State University-Jonesboro have managed to grow heart tissue on spinach leaves.

The researchers used a detergent, a water-based cleansing solution, binding with dirt to wash away the cells of the plant. Once the spinach has been stripped of its cells, there is a cellulose framework which is the main chemical forming the structure of the plant.

At its cellulose state, the researchers bathe the spinach with live human cells where the cells can grow tissue on the spinach’s scaffolding and the tiny veins. The cells lining up to the human blood vessel are placed in lineation with the veins of the spinach leaves in attempts to create a vascular system that replicates the way blood flows through human tissue.

Researchers then would send fluids through its veins to see if the blood cells could flow through the renovated vascular system, which they were successful in. The most defining trait that the spinach leaf has is the branching network of thin veins that delivers the water and nutrients to the cell. So, the modified leaves would provide oxygen delivery to the replacement tissue which is important to generating heart matter.

Scientists have created large-scale human tissue in a lab through methods of 3-D printing but it was difficult to grow the small blood vessels needed to the tissue’s health. This new study, however, brings a promising hope to treat damaged heart tissue.

This is a study that holds the promise of having multiple spinach leaves grow layers of heart muscles as a treatment for patients. Its goal would be to treat patients who have suffered from a heart attack or who have had some cardiac issues where the heart is not contracting anymore. Essentially it would be the treatment for damaged heart tissue that would lead to treating tissue from other organs that have suffered some damage.

Studies are still being conducted on how the human cells attach to and nourish themselves to grow on the spinach’s scaffolds as well as finding an outflow of blood and fluids from the tissue. The findings of this study are set to be published in the May issue of Biomaterials.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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