By growing the sapling of a red banana, urologists are hoping to develop a new technique to treat a rare disease.
The sapling was grown from a wild male, which was then cut into four sections, each with a different colour of sapling.
These sections were then treated with a gel called macmillam saploginside, which can stimulate the growth of stem cells in the surrounding area.
The results have been published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Dr James Kooiman, from the Royal Botanic Gardens, said: “The new technique we have developed allows us to grow new branches, or trunks, from individual red banana trees in the wild, rather than having to carefully plant them in carefully controlled, controlled settings.”
This could allow the growth to take place more quickly in controlled environments.
The first step is to cut the saplings into four individual sections, and then separate them into different groups of saplings.
These are then allowed to grow together in a greenhouse, for around two weeks.
Afterwards, each group of branches will be subjected to gel injection in a different environment.
In this case, the gel will stimulate the cells in each group to form a protective barrier between the cells and the outside world, preventing them from spreading infection.
“This could potentially be used in hospitals to treat people with cancer, where the patient is treated with gel injected into the affected area,” Dr Kooima added.
To achieve this, the researchers used the same technique that they had used for developing the red banana sapling treatment, but added a new addition.
This time, they injected the gel into the leaves of the saplags, instead of just the branches, to get a greater amount of growth.
This allowed them to treat both male and female saplag roots, as well as mature trees, with a more rapid response to treatment.
Dr Kooim said that he was very excited about this new development.
“The idea of developing an engineered drug, rather a drug that can be taken from plants, is a big step forward, and a great achievement,” he said.
“It’s exciting to see a number of different avenues to explore in future.
For example, I have also recently begun looking at developing a gel injection for a drug to treat HIV, which could be used to treat patients suffering from other diseases.”