Mini-Herz und Koronar-Arterien aus Spinat-Blättern


Wissenschaftler haben Spinatblätter von Pflanzenzellen befreit, haben auf dem übriggebliebenen Skelett Herzmuskel gezüchtet und dann haben sie die Zellulose als Koronar-Arterien benutzt, um Blut durch das Miniatur-Spinatblattherz zu pumpen. Popeye would be proud: Spinach Leaf Transformed Into Beating Human Heart Tissue.

One of the defining traits of a leaf is the branching network of thin veins that delivers water and nutrients to its cells. Now, scientists have used plant veins to replicate the way blood moves through human tissue. The work involves modifying a spinach leaf in the lab to remove its plant cells, which leaves behind a frame made of cellulose.

“Cellulose is biocompatible [and] has been used in a wide variety of regenerative medicine applications, such as cartilage tissue engineering, bone tissue engineering, and wound healing,” the authors write in their paper.

The team then bathed the remaining plant frame in live human cells, so that the human tissue grew on the spinach scaffolding and surrounded the tiny veins. Once they had transformed the spinach leaf into a sort of mini heart, the team sent fluids and microbeads through its veins to show that blood cells can flow through this system.