Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are using the decellularized husks of plants such as parsley, vanilla, and orchids to create three-dimensional scaffolds that can then be primed and seeded with human stem cells to optimize their development in the lab dish and, ultimately, create novel biomedical implants.

Publishing their study (“ Biofunctionalized Plants because Diverse Biomaterials for Human Cell Culture ” ) in Advanced Healthcare Materials, a team led simply by William Murphy, Ph. D., a professor of biomedical engineering and co-director of the UW-Madison Stem Cell plus Regenerative Medicine Center, describes the use of a variety of plants to generate an efficient, inexpensive and scalable technology for making tiny constructions that could one day be used to repair muscle, organs and bone fragments using stem cells.

 

“Nature provides us having a tremendous reservoir of structures in plants, ” clarifies Gianluca Fontana, Ph. D., the lead author from the…