Scientists have made a big step from previously using 3D printing technology in order to create human tissues in labs on a large scale. They have come up of a way of using leaves to help with creating human tissue as the 3D printing method is tricky. This is because 3D printing the tissue makes it difficult to grow the small and delicate blood vessels which are very important for the health of human tissue.
To carry out this study, the scientists used a spinach leaf, which they started to change to closely resemble human tissue by first removing the plant cells from the leaf. This left behind a structure of cellulose, which has been known for helping with the engineering of different tissue within the body. Examples of this are repairing cartilage and bone tissue.
Once the plant cells have been removed, they put what is left of the leaf into human cells which are live. This allows the human tissue to surround the tiny veins on the leaves. In the study, they successfully grew onto the spinach leaf. When all of the steps had been completed, the scientists then added fluids into the veins of the leaf and discovered that this method allowed blood cells to flow through the leaf veins as it would in a human organ.
The scientists decided to use plant veins as this is the best way to replicate the way blood moves through human tissue. This is because the leaves have a network of tiny veins within them, and the tiny veins deliver the nutrients and water to the cells. However, they say that this method could help repair different types of tissues within the human body such as bone, but by using different types of plants.
There are also hopes that the findings of this study will help with replacing and repairing damaged tissues as heart attacks and other medical problems with the heart damages the heart. This method will mean that cells will get the oxygen they need in order to regenerate.