In the high-ceilinged basement lab, the ear lies flat, encapsulated in a dish on a sheet-metal cabinet. It’s actually a piece of apple carved to look like an ear, yet it’s not really an apple either; the cellulose has been washed of its apple cells and populated instead with human ones.
…the fusion of plant and animal it represents holds promise for regenerative medicine, in which defective body parts may be replaced by engineered alternatives.
Biomaterials engineers, who create stand-ins for our own body tissues, historically focus on animal species, like pigs, with organs similar to ours. Until now, the plant kingdom has been largely neglected, but it offers a vast variety of architectures, many of which can serve the needs of human physiology.
A central challenge in organ creation is the development of materials that can host the new cells within the body, holding the organ’s shape and organization …the man-made and organic biomaterials are commercially produced or harvested and processed, at great cost.
…but at less than 1 cent, the same amount of apple is well within reach.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Growing Organs on Apples