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Animators create revolutionary model of the heart

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Cardiology experts say that a computer simulation of the human heart created by animators at special effects company Glassworks could revolutionise surgical training. Glassworks are a post-production company responsible for computer animated characters in commercials from Churchill Insurance to Sprite soft drink.  Prompted by consultant cardiac anaesthetist Sue Wright from The Heart Hospital in London, the team turned their expertise to this medical application. Animators witnessed a live open-heart surgery in the course of their research. The resulting four-dimensional model reproduces precisely every vessel and every valve. Experts have hailed the model as the most vital step forward since Leonardo da Vinci’s studies of cadavers in the 14th century. Philipp Bonhoeffer, chief of cardiology at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, told The Times, “The geometry is of the working heart, which one could never see before. It is extremely exciting. The younger people who have to learn about anatomy and the 3D structure of the heart will never understand how difficult it was for our generation not to have that tool.” The animators have been nominated for an Escape Award, which have been established to recognize talent in computer graphics.

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