Heart disease has always been hazardous factor of death, there has always been some new medical discovery to fight a different kind of heart problem and recently researchers have successfully used spinach leaves to build functioning human which can handle a chronic shortage of donor organs, there has always been a need of such thing which can complete the veins that can transport blood.
This team led by scientists from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has successfully turned a spinach leaf into living heart tissue by using the tiny network of the vein which are already there in the plant.
Plants and animals have fundamentally different methods of transporting fluids, chemicals, and macromolecules, yet there are surprising similarities in their vascular network structures. They bought spinach from a local market and instead of trying to build a vasculature from scratch, the researchers stripped their spinach leaves of green plant material until it was fine cellulose structure.
To ingress the fine vascular structure of spinach, the team disseminated a clean solution through the leaves to wash the plant cells away in a process called decellularization. They also stripped the leaves of parsley and sweet wormwood and demonstrated the technique in the hairy roots of a peanut plant.
To test the cellulose in a real tissue sample, they ended up using spinach because it has a high concentration of vessels the way heart tissue does.
The researchers worked on these leaves and were excited to see that within a few days, the heart cells started to spontaneously contract just like they would in human tissue.
“The idea here is that we have this very thin, flat piece of tissue that already has a vascular network in there, so we should be able to potentially stack up multiple leaves and create a piece of cardiac tissue,” was published in their research paper.
Heart tissue transplants are useful for patients who have damaged heart tissue that no longer contracts, which happens after a heart attack. Still, the study is only an idea and the team is still working on how to fuse it with living human heart tissue.
However, using spinach is also not the only approach to creating blood vessel networks for human tissue. Scientists have been researching the use of 3D printing for creating blood vessels, and have just reported limited success in printing whole blood vessel networks.
They expect that with further research, it might be possible to pick different plants for different tissues – for example, the structure of wood “might be useful in bone engineering”.
Hope this research get implemented soon, and we hope more discoveries like this from medical science.