Decellularization is a pretty strange process. Using a special type of soap, it’s possible to remove all the cellular material from a piece of tissue, leaving only the connective proteins and polymers behind that normally hold the cells in place. It leaves you with something that looks like the starting material, but is really just an empty sponge called a scaffold.
Doctors and scientists have been exploring this technique for many years because those empty scaffolds are extremely useful for cell culture. By seeding them with cells taken from a patient, it’s possible to grow a brand new organ or tissue able to be transplanted into a patient, potentially saving their life. The same technique could even be used to make lab grown meat.
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