Spinach Turns Into Cardiac Machine

March 27, 2017
Spinach Turns Into Cardiac Machine

Popeye would definitely love this story. Cells are the basis of living elements, with cells responsible for sustaining life through carrying out their functions, and multiplying. Recently in scientific breakthroughs, cells have been able to be manipulated to carry functions of other cells. In the latest study, a spinach leaf has had the plant functions of the cells turned off, and started behaving as though it was cardiac tissue.

The article, “Spinach Leaf Transformed into Beating Human Tissue,” by National Geographic explores the paper, “Crossing kingdoms: Using decelluralized plants as perfusable tissue engineering scaffolds.” Researchers describe their abstract as, “taking advantage of the similarities in the vascular structure of plant and animal tissues, we developed decellurized plant tissue as a prevascularized scaffold for tissue engineering applications…which could ultimately provide a cost-efficient, green technology for regenerating large volume vascularized tissue mass.” The spinach leaf was engineered to send “fluids and microbeads through its veins to show that blood cells can flow through this system.” This breakthrough can eventually be used in patients with cardiac ailments, or failing tissue.

Researchers have known for years how to turn on the functions of steam cells in humans, but this breakthrough enhances scientist’s understanding of how to manipulate plant cells. The future of using nature to conserve nature is astounding. Hopefully this study leads to new techniques to better healthcare.







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