Most of us envision the human heart as some 2-D illustration from a middle school science textbook, or maybe a crude animation from a Discovery Channel special.
This new heart simulation, created by researchers at University of Tokyo, is so accurate that it will at times make you queasy. It takes you into straight into the chambers of the heart, showing you not just a clear view of the anatomy, but how the valve tissue actually pulsates inside your body. Luckily, most of the video skirts the grotesque and manages to feel like something akin to Fantastic Voyage in the hands of modern day graphic artists.
To build the model, researchers simulated muscle contractions, using a supercomputer to calculate the motion of contracting proteins down to the molecular level. The blood flowing through the heart reacts dynamically to the muscle tissue’s flex. By combining all these elements into a full simulation, scientists can see which parts of the heart are consuming the most energy.
The researchers hope that such models could help doctors plan patient treatments and surgeries in the future. In the meantime, the five-minute clip they shared offers a remarkable tour through one of nature’s most incredible machines.
UT-Heart recently won the award for Best Visualization or Simulation at Siggraph 2015.