Vasundhara Kapoor

Medical Art MSc

How to make a Heart: A 3D multimedia resource for students to learn cardiovascular embryology


Human embryology is a branch of biology concerned with the study of an embryo from the stage of ovum fertilisation through to the foetal stage. The complex morphological changes taking place during the embryological development of a human being make it a difficult subject to teach and learn effectively. Due to the developments occurring across three dimensions (3D), representation using 3D visualisation is crucial to understanding the morphogenesis of internal structures. The need for more content in this area makes it essential to develop resources to help bridge this gap in embryology education. This project aims to create a 3D visualisation resource to help students understand cardiovascular embryology better while promoting a multimedia approach to learning the subject.

The project is a web-based resource consisting of a 3D animation, static 3D models and an animated 3D model, demonstrating the processes involved in developing the cardiovascular system. The resource has been created to be used with other learning approaches, offering students a blended learning experience and more control over their learning approach. This project endeavours to bridge gaps within embryology learning, allowing educators to access 3D visualisation resources to teach embryology, making it an accessible and engaging subject.

Lateral folding of embryo

This image displays five models from left to right which look like two semicircles places vertically on top of each other and are hollow from the front. The upper semi-circle slowly grows and eventually the right most model has a spherical shape.

These models were used to create an animation depicting the process of lateral folding of the heart tube. This process is the initial step in formation of the cardiovascular system and the use of engaging 3D models to explain such a process can help visualise the embryological development with ease.

3D Models

The image contains four models from left to right showing the heart development. The first model is a tube like structure and the left most model looks more like a sphere with 6 tube at the bottom, resembling a heart. All models are coloured into six different colours from top to bottom.

These static 3D models help understand the process of cardiac looping by allowing users to control the viewpoints and learn the development process. The colour codes help demarcate the different sections of the foetal heart. All 3D models can be viewed on the resource website.

3D Animated Model

This image contains an inflated tube like model in the centre of the screen which is of a pink flesh like colour. It depicts one of the stages in heart development.

This 3D animated model was developed to demonstrate real time changes of the developing heart while providing user the control to navigate different viewpoints. This model can be viewed on the resource website.

How to Make a Heart- Learn Embryology

This animated resource has been created to understand the process of formation of the Cardiac tube or heart tube. The aim of the animation is to provide 3D visualisation of cardiovascular embryology in an engaging video

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