Apart from his architectural, sculptural and artistic wonders, da Vinci was also known for his knowledge in medicine, especially regarding human anatomy. His theory suggested the human heart four chambers, which still stands medically true today. Now, scientists have contributed da Vinci’s details in his 500-year-old anatomical heart sketch to be the basis of their study.

Da Vinci was the first to illustrate trabeculae— the geometric network of muscle fibers that develop on the heart’s inner surface. A new study by the Imperial College London has suggested that da Vinci’s sketches of the trabeculae are crucial in understanding how the heart works.

Dr. Declan O’Regan from the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences, Director for Imaging Research at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and lead author of the study, said: “Leonardo da Vinci sketched these intricate muscles inside the heart half a millennium ago, and it is only now that we are beginning to understand how important they are to human health.”

“Da Vinci was also intrigued by the link between maths and nature, so it’s fitting that we found that fractal patterns in the heart are so important for its function. This work offers an exciting new direction for understanding the heart and shows the potential for bringing together ideas in maths and biology to medical research.”

Scientists used AI and studied over 25,000 MRI scans of the human heart to further understand the role of trabeculae. The results were phenomenal. They discovered six regions in our DNA that influences the development of trabeculae, found out that the strands maintained the blood flow and most importantly, understood how it could cause heart diseases.