The Virtual Heart
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The heart is at the core of our everyday life. While seemingly simple on the exterior, a complex relationship of actions and anatomy works beneath the surface of the heart to keep us alive. My research at UIC encompasses how to best present information in a teaching module that conveys the intricate structure and function relationship of the human body in an easy to understand method. While developing this module, the beauty and complexity of the heart – as well as its importance in education – became apparent. Accuracy of the subject matter emerged as a cornerstone of my research. This 3-D model was first developed in a DICOM imaging program from a CT dataset of 374 slices, one of which can be seen in the background. Each slice was analyzed, and the various components of the heart were built on different layers and exported into a 3D modeling program. There, the model was rebuilt to allow for a streamlined structure that could be readily textured and animated. The three-dimensionality of this model, containing the inherent beauty of the heart and accuracy of a CT scan, is the core of my own research project.