Scientists unveiled that spinach leaves can carry blood to grow human tissues.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute research team shows spinach leaves can become a vascular network to deliver blood, oxygen and nutrients to grow human tissues, like cardiac muscle to treat heart attack patients.
Above, the progression as a spinach leaf slowly gets dissolved. Credit Worcester Polytechnic Institute
This green solution may solve the major problem now limiting the regeneration of large section of human tissues, bone, even whole organs to treat disease or traumatic injuries.
Current bioengineering techniques, including 3-D printing, can’t fabricate the branching network of blood vessels down to the capillary scale that are required to deliver the oxygen, nutrients, and essential molecules required for proper tissue growth. To solve this problem, a multidisciplinary research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Arkansas State University-Jonesboro have successfully turned to plants. They report their initial findings in the paper “Crossing kingdoms: Using decellularized plants as perfusable tissue engineering scaffolds” published online in advance of the May 2017 issue of the journal Biomaterials.