Regenerating human tissues from small lab samples to full size tissues has been a fundamental problem faced by researchers. But amazingly, researchers have now turned to the vascular system of plants to solve a major bioengineering problem. It will help in the regeneration of human tissues and organs.
A multidisciplinary research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), the University of Wisconsin-Madison has reported their initial findings in the paper "Crossing kingdoms.”
They have used decelluralized plants as perusable tissue engineering scaffolds in the process. “There are surprising similarities in the vascular network structures of humans and plants and the same concept has been used.” This opens up the potential for a new branch of science that investigates the mimicry between plants and humans”, said the researchers.
In a series of experiments, the team cultured beating human heart cells on spinach leaves that were stripped of plant cells. They flowed fluids and micro beads similar in size to human blood cells through the spinach vasculature and seeded the spinach veins with human cells that align with blood vessels. These proof-of-concept studies open the door to using multiple spinach leaves to grow layers of healthy heart muscle to treat heart attack patients.