Was the human heart the inspiration for the traditional heart shape associated with Valentine’s day?


Philosophers from ancient days have long equated the human heart with the center of emotion. One theory is that over time, artists and illustrators simply took the shape of the human heart and made it more attractive. Whatever the source of the modern heart shape, today that shape represents love and strong emotion, which is appropriate, given how important the heart is to the human body.


Valentine’s day is also an appropriate time to take a deeper look at the heart, which is what biomedical students did in Dr. Luis Fernando’s Anatomy class at KU Tampa Campus. They dissected a pig’s heart to learn more about the size, structure and function of human hearts.


A pig heart consists of four chambers: two atriums and two ventricles. Likewise, consistent with a human heart, it has four valves and an aorta. In fact, pig hearts are so similar to human hearts that tissue from pig hearts is used to make heart valve replacements for humans.


Anatomy classes such as this one are part of the intensive one-month at a time classes that prepare Keiser students for their career fields. KU’s Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences is a practical, pre-professional degree program designed to prepare students for admission to graduate programs in health care and biomedical science as well as professional schools for Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Physician Assistant, Occupational and Physical Therapy, and Veterinary Medicine.