Vegetables are good for your health, but now there's a whole new way that one veggie could help your heart: Spinach leaves can be used as a scaffold for beating human heart cells, a new study finds. Scientists turn spinach leaf into human heart tissue, a potentially big discovery Spinach is tasty. Scientists in Massachusetts have converted a spinach leaf into a tiny, beating human heart muscle in an experiment that might one day help doctors repair damaged organs. Spinach, like all green vegetables, is full of nutrients that may help prevent heart disease. Heart Health Baby spinach has a decent amount of potassium, which is good for heart health. Original Air Date 10/06/2018. Watch a spinach leaf that has been transformed into beating human heart tissue. "So I thought, let’s perfuse [the fluids] right through the stem.". Spinach Leaf Heartsfeaturing Ford’s Willow Run plant. This vegetable has been shown to benefit health in several ways. Tissue engineering (also called regenerative medicine) attempts to create functional human tissue from cells in a laboratory. However, the one organ that has been hard to replicate is the human heart. This spinach plant has a fast growth rate with a harvest period of 40- 45 days. A team of researchers used detergent to dissolve the cells inside a spinach leaf, leaving only the scaffolding of the leaf veins (which resemble blood vessels in the heart). Kale and spinach — both “super veggies” — are packed with nutrients because they’re leafy greens. Spinach has long been understood to be good for your heart. Spinach leaf transforms into sheet of beating human heart cells With seeded cells, tissue engineers hope to harvest flesh from plants. Mar 26, 2017, 3:33 pm Internet Culture . Hearts. [Spinach Leaf Transformed into Beating Heart Tissue | Video], "When I looked at the spinach leaf, its stem reminded me of an aorta," said Joshua Gershlak, a graduate student of biomedical engineering at WPI and the study's lead researcher. NY 10036. There was a problem. In this, spinach is a multifaceted problem solver. A team from WPI has grown a piece of heart tissue on a leaf of spinach that beats and that sends fluids through the vascular system just like a human heart would. To tackle a chronic shortage of donor organs, scientists have been working on growing various tissues and even whole organs in the lab. "Adapting abundant plants that farmers have been cultivating for thousands of years for use in tissue engineering could solve a host of problems limiting the field. Host Mo Rocca shows us how science is transforming spinach leaves into new heart tissue; deterring burglars with a fog security system; turning cement pipes into compact housing; and, when U.S. automakers became wartime plane makers. "By exploiting the benign chemistry of plant tissue scaffolds, we could address the many limitations and high costs of synthetic, complex composite materials," the researchers wrote. Stay up to date on the coronavirus outbreak by signing up to our newsletter today. The veins of a spinach leaf can carry fluids, even possibly blood, to developing human tissues grown on the leaf. WPI Team Grows Heart Tissue on Spinach Leaves Researchers turn to the vascular system of plants to solve a major bioengineering problem blocking the regeneration of human tissues and organs. It fights cancers. Spinach is a powerful superfood that contributes to improved heart health. Many studies link potassium with lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of stroke and heart disease. Click the drop-down menu below and make your selection. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, "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 researchers wrote in the study. 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. Spinach and heart tissue may seem like a random pairing, but understanding why the scientists did this requires looking up close at a spinach leaf: … Arugula. Thank you for signing up to Live Science. Spinach may decrease oxidative stress, improve eye … Including spinach in your diet can reduce the chance of heart disease and heart attack. Its thought spinach, with its high levels of vitamins A and C, fibre and folic acid, … Search our website to find what you’re looking for. In several experiments, scientists grew beating human heart cells on spinach leaves by perfusing them with a detergent solution, which stripped them of their plant cells. Spinach Leaf. Spinach leaves make a good scaffold because once the plant cells are washed away, a cellulose structure remains, the researchers said. Although spinach leaves have many veins, making them a well-suited scaffold for heart tissue, other plans show promise for other medical uses. To tackle a chronic shortage of donor organs, scientists have been working on growing various tissues and even whole organs in the lab. Live Science is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. The tissue engineers, as they reported recently in the journal Biomaterials, stripped green spinach leaves of their cells. But culturing a bunch of cells is only part of the solution - they simply won't thrive without a constant blood supply. Spinach is a nutritious, leafy green. Visit our corporate site. This type of spinach is slow in bolting and can tolerate high heat. Plants such as these may provide economic and environmental advantages to the biomedical field. Smooth-Flat Leaf Spinach. See The #1 Spinach Supplement Now. 7. And could potentially save your life. You can select the language displayed on our website. Nitrates are a type of vasodilator which improves blood flow and blood oxygen saturation levels. Beth Mole - 3/27/2017, 11:57 … Boost Heart Health. One segment from every episode of The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation features The Henry Ford's own experts, artifacts, and experiences.Learn more about that segment in this week's episode using the links below. Spinach contains large amounts of vitamin K. Vitamin K is used by the body to help blood clot. Plants are easy to grow and are environmentally friendly. (Image: © Worcester Polytechnic Institute). This proof-of-concept study suggests that multiple spinach leaves could be used to grow layers of healthy heart muscle that could one day be used to treat heart attack patients, the researchers said. Heart tissue grown on spinach leaves Researchers turn to the vascular system of plants to solve a major bioengineering problem blocking the regeneration of human tissues and organs. Spinach Improves Heart Health. March 22, 2017 Other decellularized plants could provide the framework for a wide range of tissue engineering technologies. New York, It's packed with fiber, vitamin A, and the branching vasculature necessary for cells to absorb nutrients. (Image credit: Worcester Polytechnic Institute), Spinach Leaf Transformed into Beating Heart Tissue | Video, Unsafe levels of radiation found in Chernobyl crops, Scientists think they've detected radio emissions from an alien world, Angel, devil and blood-red heart appear at Martian south pole, 1,200-year-old pagan temple to Thor and Odin unearthed in Norway, Newly discovered fungi turn flies into zombies and devour them from the inside out. But one day, this leafy green may also provide a novel way to repair a damaged heart, as described in the May 2017 issue of Biomaterials. Spinach may help manage blood pressure Spinach is a source of naturally occurring nitrates, compounds that open up blood vessels to improve blood flow and ease the workload on the heart… In addition, wood from trees "might be useful in bone engineering," due in part to its strength, they wrote. Space Spinach | This variety of spinach is a flat-leafed type of spinach with smooth, round and dark green leaves. Researchers have successfully used spinach leaves to build functioning human heart tissue, complete with veins that can transport blood. Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. Worldwide, heart transplants provide a vital lifeline to over 4000 patients per year. But researchers have demonstrated that some day spinach could actually be your heart. Heart health is attached to high blood pressure and heart disease. In addition to spinach leaves, the researchers also removed plant cells from parsley, Artemesia annua (sweet wormwood) and peanut hairy roots. However, it remains to be seen whether these spinach scaffolds are safe for human use, and whether some people might have an immune response to tissues grown on plant scaffolds. A time lapse of a spinach leaf's transformation. The spinach turned translucent. Vegetables are good for your health, but now there's a whole new way that one veggie could help your heart: Spinach leaves can be used as a scaffold for beating human heart … Scaffolds from these plants, and perhaps others, could be helpful for other types of specialized tissue regeneration, they said. "We have a lot more work to do, but so far this is very promising,” Glenn Gaudette, the study's senior researcher and a professor of biomedical engineering at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, Massachusetts, said in a statement. Researchers have successfully used spinach leaves to build functioning human heart tissue, complete with veins that can transport blood. You knew that spinach was good for your heart, but researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute are now taking spinach leaves and transform them into human heart … Spinach is a dark, leafy green vegetable that is packed with vitamins and other nutrients. Please refresh the page and try again. © ", In addition, the researchers said they think they could deliver blood and oxygen to developing tissues by pouring fluids through the spinach leaves' veins. Namely, the "cylindrical, hollow structure of the stem" of the jewelweed plant could be used as a graft for an artery, they said. Host Mo Rocca shows us how science is transforming spinach leaves into new heart tissue; deterring burglars with a fog security system; turning cement pipes into compact housing; and, when U.S. automakers became wartime plane makers.Original Air Date 10/06/2018. Arugula is a leafy green from the Brassicaceae family that goes by many different names, … Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer. Learn how the Willow Run bomber plant embodied America's "Arsenal of Democracy", Find out about the anti-submarine patrol boats built for WWI, Discover how Ford built ambulances for the Red Cross, See one of the iconic Jeeps built for WWII, 20900 Oakwood Boulevard, Dearborn, MI 48124‑5029, Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation Overview, Teacher's Choice @ Giant Screen Experience, Teacher's Choice @ Giant Screen Experience, Educator Professional Development Overview, America’s Industrial Revolution Workshop. 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. Scientists from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute have turned a spinach leaf into working human heart tissue, and this could revolutionize the treatment of damaged organs. Having bad heart health can include having high cholesterol, anemia, and heart disease. 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