Who would have thought that cockroaches have something to offer modern science? Well, it turns out that while human hearts have four chambers, a cockroach heart uses 13 leaving plenty of redundancy. When a chamber fails in a human heart, you basically have a heart attack and most likely die, while a cockroach can have a chamber fail and barely notice it.
This new Biventricular Pump artificial heart developed at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, uses a multi-chamber design just like those pesky roaches, and designer Sujoy K. Guha says that this vastly improves its long term reliability when compared with more traditional pneumatic designs. Judging by how hard it can be to kill off a roach infestation, I think he might just be right.
So far the heart has been tested successfully on a frog, and Guha hopes to test it with a goat soon.
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