What we used to read in magazines and books up until a few decades ago, is now becoming a reality. Transforming spinach leaves is the latest discovery of scientists trying to grow functional human heart tissue.
Growing Hearts In Spinach Leaves
The goal the team set is to recreate a human organ with such details that it would contain even the fragile vascular networks of blood vessels that it otherwise cannot survive without.
It is, however, not the first time such attempts have been made.
Scientists have tried to use 3D printing technology to recreate the vascular systems but without success.
Achieving such breakthrough means that the researchers might have found a way to grow vascular networks through plant leaves successfully.
“We have a lot more work to do, but so far this is very promising” commented a professor of biomedical engineering part of the team.
In order to achieve this success, the researchers had to replace the plant cells with human ones, allowing the tissue to grow.
Pumping microbeads and fluids through the veins was the final step, which indicated the functionality of the concept.
Other scientists have previously been able to create artificial samples of human tissue on a smaller scale, but they required integration with existing blood vessels.
It has, however, also been proven that a large-scale version of working tissue infused with vascular vessels is impossible.
The scientific team suggests this new technique could help people grow layers of stronger and healthier heart muscle, creating hope for many patients’ future.
It will eventually be used to treat patients suffering from heart attack or who have hearts with difficulty when contracting.
Meanwhile, the researchers experimented with other materials as well that can help us regenerate other types of tissues.
When will such technology be available, no one knows. It will, however, be sooner than we all expect.
And while you are waiting for it, see the discovery yourself: