SCOTTISH scientists have found a new ingredient to make prosthetic limbs — spinach.
For years, cartoon hero Popeye has boasted about its benefits, now scientists in Edinburgh are to use green chemicals inside spinach leaves to change the way many plastic products are made.
The Heriot-Watt University team have found chemicals from the vegetable can bring metallic nano-particles already embedded in plastics back to the surface to form a conductive circuit.
This can be used for a range of products including the latest range of limb prosthetics with improved functionality.
It can also be used to make mobile phones and some medical devices for hospitals.
The project, called Photobioform II, is led by Prof Marc Desmulliez of the university's School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, which has been awarded £700,000 by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
Prof Desmulliez said: "The use of spinach leaves or carrot extracts is a clear example of the importance of green chemistry for sustainable, low-cost and environmentally friendly manufacturing."