The Latest Bio-Engineering Heart Transplant Research Is In: Spinach Leaves

You heard correctly: scientists have discovered a way for doctors to use spinach leaves as a construct for an artificial human heart.

I don't know whether to be blown away or skeptical, but the information and research are indeed verified. It turns out that the research as written here has proven scientists can now literally simulate a human heart—with spinach leaves. Huh. Who knew?

The Concept Indeed Is Grounded in Pure Practicality

When looking at the spinach leaf, you're really looking at a similar construct for an aorta of the human heart. The stem and then the veins of the leaf—they all do exactly the same thing as any segment of the human heart would do, so why not?—why not simulate the pumping of blood via spinach leaves?

It was a remarkable idea and one that took a lot of groundwork and experimentation, straight out from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Arkansas State University-Jonesboro. They took a good, long, hard look at the spinach leaf and realized that the mechanics aren't much different at all from how our human hearts work—pumping blood via canals (veins, arteries) into chambers or sections.

Spinach leaves actually get their health in that way, much like other leaves out in nature. They breathe. They pump oxygen in and out. The natural reactions aren't at all different from what the human heart does with our own hemoglobin.

But Why Would Anyone Want to Simulate a Human Heart With Spinach Leaves Anyway?

As if we're in a shortage of heart transplants, right? The concept is simple. In this new innovative medical research demographic of tissue growth, we're ultimately thinking of a more sustainable model other than relying on whether or not there's a suitable heart transplant available for the latest heart disease patient.

Why wait when we have the organs available right now? That's the point of tissue growth. There was just always one problem, especially with 3D printing technology—no blood flow to ensure tissue growth.

You see, tissue—real human tissue—needs blood flow to stay healthy. Without it, the tissue simply dies and is unusable. Scientists have been able to grow tissue without a problem—the issue is keeping that tissue alive. Alive enough for a transplant, or the ability to conduct surgery on a patient suffering from a heart attack.

What Spinach Leaves Do Is Allow Tissue Growth

This undoubtedly could mean volumes of possibilities in relation to developing all sorts of organs—entire vascular systems, even. Life support might be something as easy as grafting several dozen pieces of spinach together in a way to transport blood molecules! We slightly jest, but it's honestly not far from the truth.

We can now build or grow a real human heart without a transplant. That's the value. The factor that changes all of it. We're doing something unprecedented with dark green produce. It's remarkable when you think of it like that.

Like the article link does suggest, though, this brings up the important point that all of life, and the construct of life, is so beyond connected that we can't deny the possibility that human life—all life—had to come from one source.

If you're religious, it could be God. Or something else. But the important thing to know is this—

What we learn, medical wise?—We only need to look at the Earth we live on. Some of the greatest miracles occur right under our feet. In the trees. In the rivers. In the rocks. It's as if our Earth is one big heart, pumping life in and out of everything.

Whoa. That's heavy.

Pierre Roustan
Pierre Roustan

I am an author, adventurer, and father, living with my wife, four daughters and one son in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I've trekked through tundras, waded through swamps, wandered through deserts, and swam in the Great Barrier Reef.

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The Latest Bio-Engineering Heart Transplant Research Is In: Spinach Leaves