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"growing" human hearts to continuously produce blood for transplants

I just saw a TED talk on growing organs, and recently a friend and me were wondering if it would be possible to synthesize a heart, and one of each blood type, that is constantly producing it's own blood for transplants. In Australia there is a huge donation shortage, but if there were a whole bunch of hearts producing, then transplants would be much more readily available. I don't know much about how the blood creation process happens though....

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    Aug 5 2012: I don't believe hearts actually produce blood. They just pump it, but I think this could be possible in the future if you could keep the organs which do create the components of blood alive in some sort of suspension. Then you would only need an artificial heart, some sort of nutrient supplier and a set of lungs to bring oxygen to the organs through the blood.
    • Aug 5 2012: I think Eric is right about the heart not producing blood. You are kinda getting into a bio-ethical controversy though. Where would they get the bone marrow (I think this is the part that is actually used in blood production)? This brings up many controversies. Do people just donate? Is it like organ donating? This issue seems very close to the regenerative organ therapy (organ growing) which is still controversial. I personally believe that some of the medical procedures done today could be greatly helped by using regenerative organ therapy, but it is a very controversial topic. Unfortunately a lot of the subject is shrouded in misconceptions. Random fact of the day: Dolly, the sheep that was cloned, only became a functional sheep (as compared to just a sheep heart or other organ) because it was put inside of another sheep where a fertilized egg would go. I thought that was interesting.
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        Aug 5 2012: Yes bioethics is a big concern, and it would need to be addressed. I can hear the heated debate on the floor in the house of representatives now!
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    Aug 19 2012: The heart does not produce blood, bone marrow does. That being said, there are already synthetic blood products under development. Some are cultured from stem cells and some are pharmed. Here is one newsy type article about it.

    Also there is work being done to make transplantable porcine organs for donation, including entire hearts.

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    Aug 5 2012: Hearts that are too big are actually a medical condition.
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    Aug 5 2012: The human heart is only the 'pump' in our organism and does not produce blood itself.
    The constituent parts of our blood are created in our 'bone marrow' and the whole process was to be 'copied' for your idea.
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    Aug 5 2012: Why not just synthesize the blood itself