Spinach Turns Into Heart Tissue
Spinach leaves are ideal for growing heart tissue, according to the Worcester Polytechnic Institute which managed to grow functional heart cells in the green leaves of a local vegetable market. In the experiment, the scientists first injected a "detergent" into the spinach leaves to wash out the plant cells. A skeleton remained – complete with the fine vascular network which normally supplies the leaf cells with water and nutrients and has the same structure as blood vessels. Then scientists grew human heart muscle cells in the vascular system of the leaf, converting the leaf into a beating heart with functional blood vessels.
Tissue for the treatment of injured hearts is difficult to make in the lab due to its complex vascular network, but the new method brings us closer to artificial heart tissue.
Spinach leaves' fine vascular network can bring nutrients and oxygen to artificial heart tissue.