AnatomyAR+ kid workout with augmented reality

Sep 17, 2018

AnatomyAR+ augmented reality app for #MERGECube, available on MERGE Miniverse.

We made this video for our augmented reality app; featuring the most thoughtful (yet tough!) critics we could find. We are currently working on some updates and enhancements.

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Diabetic nephropathy & chronic kidney disease

Feb 21, 2022

A few frames from animation that depicts the progression of diabetic nephropathy, a driver of chronic kidney disease in people with diabetes. 

Here in the glomerulus, the images show progressive damage to the tubules, damage to podocytes (including loss of them), and scarring as a result of mesangial cells excreting extracellular matrix. 

The last image depicts contracted, granular kidneys from long-term hypertension.

Animation was created for client’s episode on chronic kidney disease and the relationship between type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular risk in patients with advanced CKD.

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Blood flow through a beating heart | Cardiac hemodynamics

Sep 11, 2023

The heart’s internal blood flow is complex, beautiful, and driven by several components, including the four heart valves, ventricular makeup, the rhythmic contraction and relaxation cycles, the automatic nervous system, and hormonal influence. All these factors work in tandem to ensure continuous and efficient circulation of blood throughout the heart and the entire body.

Our goal in this scene was to emulate blood flow in the chambers of the heart using fluid dynamics (in Houdini).

Simulations of this type require a high amount of detail in order to contend with the high velocities of pressure and flow, and to address the thin collision geometry in the valves and between the chambers. 

We rendered this in a style that would feature the blood flow and give the heart more of a fluoroscopy look & feel. Oxygenated blood is shown in red; deoxygenated blood in blue.

The percentage of blood that is pumped out with each beat is called ejection fraction or EF. Normal ejection fraction is greater than 55%.

Comprehending the dynamics of blood flow is pivotal for grasping the nuances of cardiovascular physiology. Analyzing these flow patterns is instrumental in evaluating cardiac performance, specifically when assessing the heart’s diastolic function. Understanding the efficiency of the ventricles filling up before they contract can be crucial when diagnosing heart failure.

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The pathophysiology of sickle cell disease

Jan 15, 2022

Segment from a 4-minute animation that explores the pathophysiology of sickle cell disease and the progressive, tissue-damaging effects of chronic hemolysis and anemia.

Our assignment: visually depict several key critical aspects of the SCD story, such as hemoglobin S (HbS) polymerization, red blood cell sickling and tethering, vaso-occlusion, and chronic hemolysis.

Sickled red blood cells promote inflammation, obstruct the vasculature, injure the endothelium, and may lead to ischemic damage in vital organs.

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A closer look at the tumor microenvironment (TME)

Oct 27, 2023

This animation delves deep into the tumor microenvironment (TME)a complex cellular domain in which a tumor resides

Take an immersive, cinematic journey through this thriving tumor microenvironment, showcasing the intricate biological landscape of an extracellular matrix, newly-forming blood vessels, cancer-associated fibroblasts, and various immune cells such as macrophages, T cells, B cells, dendritic cells, neutrophils, NK cells, and more.

Tumors are more than just masses of malignant cells. Although the composition of the TME varies between tumor types, in many cases, the actual tumor cells might comprise less than half of the tumor’s total mass. Our animation also highlights the newly-formed vasculature. These vessels not only sustain the TME with oxygen and nutrients but also provide a route for tumor cells to access the bloodstream and potentially metastasize to distant sites.

In this exploration, we also emphasize cell migration — a critical, multifaceted process shaped by various factors. Cells within the TME communicate with each other through an intricate network of signaling pathways that can influence immune response and surveillance, angiogenesis, tumor growth, metastasis, and resistance to therapies. There have been recent advancements in understanding the spatial arrangement and complex interrelationships of cells in the tumor microenvironment.

Ultimately, a tumor’s growth and potential to spread are shaped by several intertwined pathological events, including chronic inflammation, alterations and remodeling of the extracellular matrix, angiogenesis, immune system suppression, and cell migration.

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Targeting DNA methylation

Mar 04, 2021

Sequence from project that provides insight on the role aberrant DNA methylation has in the abnormalities responsible for cancer cell growth, especially hematological malignancies such as leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.

In this sequence, we begin with a view of “normal” DNA methylation, and then change to a view of hypermethylation underway.

Eventually, decitabine – a hypomethylating agent – can be seen moving into place and blocking DNA methyltransferase (DNMT), leading to the degradation of DNMT and eventual hypomethylation.

Targeting DNA methylation with DNA hypomethylating agents (HMAs) acts to reprogram tumor cells to a more normal-like state.

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Let the phlegm fly!

Jul 08, 2018

Micro-landscape view of respiratory cells, an accumulating layer of mucus, and Bordetella pertussis bacteria releasing toxins.

A coughing event is occurring here, displacing mucus, the bacteria, and debris.

Also known as whooping cough, pertussis is a highly contagious airborne disease that spreads simply through the coughs and sneezes of an infected person.

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mAb targeting multiple myeloma

Feb 22, 2022

Sequence from 5-minute MOA that provides insight and details for a monoclonal antibody (mAb) designed to induce programmed tumor cell death (apoptosis) and immunomodulatory activity.

For this mechanism of action video, our task was to create a science story that would depict several key features: how the mAb finds and binds to myeloma cells and exposes them for elimination, how it boosts cells of the immune system, and how this targeted immunotherapy can kill myeloma cells directly.

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The Widespread Effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Jul 11, 2019

2.5 minute animation that explores the multiple factors contributing to joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis and the role of IL-6, one of the most abundant multifunctional cytokines in the synovial fluid of patients with RA.

IL-6 is a key driver of articular and systemic manifestations and major player in inflammation, immunity, and disease.

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Attacking pathogens with biodefense technology

Feb 22, 2022

Animation created for the Synexis BioDefense System, a cutting-edge device that converts naturally occurring oxygen and humidity in the air to Dry Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2), otherwise known as DHP™.

This unique molecule works continuously to attack the mold, bacteria and viruses (including SARS-CoV-2) that hide in any type of indoor space.

Our job was to visualize the breakdown and conversion of particles to be converted into DHP, as well as show how DHP molecules are drawn to and destroy various types of viruses, bacteria and mold.

We collaborated closely with our client regarding how the DHP engages with (and destroys) each kind of pathogen, as well as behavior of subatomic particles in the breakdown-and-conversion process inside the catalyst space.

For the complete video, visit

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CD38 antibodies inducing cell death

Feb 20, 2022

The monoclonal antibody has become instrumental for the treatment of multiple myeloma.

In this sequence, monoclonal antibodies are seen targeting CD38, a protein commonly expressed on the surface of cancerous plasma cells.

Activation of the complement system triggers the formation of pores in the cellular membrane, leading to cell death.

A goal for this sequence was to explore a visual approach that resembled a deep sea look & feel, including planktonic soft-bodied organisms and other invertebrate animals that live near the ocean floor.

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Pneumonia infection

Feb 20, 2022

Deep in the lungs, we can see the clusters of tiny air sacs — the alveoli — becoming inflamed and filling with pus, making it difficult to breathe.

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs caused by bacteria, viruses, or even fungi.

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Leveraging Augmented Reality for Medical Devices

Jan 12, 2019

Video capture of augmented reality app experience that highlights the features and benefits of our client’s innovative transcatheter pulmonary valve therapy device.

Our role included all aspects, including close collaboration with the client on overall concept and creation of product’s augmented “story,” production of real-time 3D experience & assets, as well as interface design and deployment of app.

Working closely with our client, we created an experience that provides the user with first-hand interaction of the device, as well as the ability to explore key features & benefits using a custom user interface design.

Frustrated by the limitations and prohibitive nature of taking prototypes and products on the road, our client is thrilled to now have an effective, high-quality augmented reality experience for use at various shows and events. Having the ability to instantly point out features and benefits using a self-contained AR device is a huge advantage.

Thanks to the immediacy, immersion, and presence that augmented reality provides, the advantages of leveraging the experience for patient education are amazing as well.

While AR and VR appear to be gaining ground in the areas of gaming and social media, healthcare and medical device industries are also beginning to realize their tremendous potential as well.

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sleep animation

The healing power of sleep

May 17, 2021

Sequence from immersive 1.5-minute 360° animation where we explore the benefits of sleep.

Here within the neural microspace of the brain, we depict the “cleansing system” of the brain: the glymphatic system. 

Just like the rest of your body, the brain accumulates waste. Recent discoveries have shown that cerebral spinal fluid “flushes” debris and metabolic toxins out of the neural microspace during the deep sleep phase. 

We also watch the heart beating (and lungs breathing) inside the chest cavity and discuss the role of sleep in reducing your risk for cardiovascular diseases.

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Medications for type 2 diabetes

Jan 12, 2022

Patient education animations created for WebMD that explore common medications for type 2 diabetes.

Because each treatment works in a unique way, our task was to bring three medications to life, creating an easy-to-understand mechanism of action story for each science story.

The three medications highlighted on the WebMD website: Metformin, Dipeptidyl Peptidase-4 (DPP-4), and SGLT2 Inhibitors. 

These are selected segments from the larger productions.

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New hybrid promotional reel

Nov 01, 2017

We are excited to release our new demo reel!

A collection of some of our favorite and latest work, featuring segments from medical animation projects we have produced over the past couple of years.

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Augmented Reality for Autotransfusion System

Jun 03, 2019

Augmented reality experience and app developed for the support of our client’s autotransfusion system. Developed as a key global training tool for service technicians, equipment service and support team members.

This in-depth AR experience allows the technician to virtually “place” the AutoLog IQ unit in their own space. Interactive callouts and a user interface help the user locate, examine, and disassemble device components, as well as re-assemble the system parts back into place. Imagine the benefits of this app versus having to locate the correct documentation and finding parts from a schematic.

Because the augmented device environment is a virtual mirror of the actual real-life system, this experience offers technicians the ability to take control of their learning process — on their own time, and at their own location. Videos are also available in the app to support the user experience.

A key for this project was to appropriate the system’s detailed CAD data and convert it into a reasonable format suitable for AR and real-time display.

Our role included all aspects, including close collaboration with the client on overall concept and creation of product’s augmented “story,” production of real-time 3D experience & assets, as well as interface design and deployment of app.

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The endocannabinoid system (ECS)

Jan 15, 2021

1.5-minute animation created for CME event. 

Our assignment included the development of the science story and creation of key events that would inform and educate viewers on the physiologic functions associated with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), the role of CB1 retrograde signaling, as well as the enzymes involved in the degradation of endocannabinoids.

We had the pleasure and honor of collaborating closely with the speaker of this event; she is also noted for her discovery of the CB1 receptor for cannabinoid agonists.

The target audience included neurologists, primary care physicians, and pediatricians.

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CAR T-cell animation

A CAR T-cell therapy targeting B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)

Apr 21, 2022

A few selected segments from a 6-minute animation created for a first-in-class B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-directed personalized immunotherapy called chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy.

In this CAR T therapy, the T cells are engineered to target a protein called BCMA, which is found in abundance on multiple myeloma cells, but is absent from nearly all normal cells.

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11-foot-tall interactive beating heart installation

Jul 30, 2019

Large-scale, interactive installation featuring a beating heart and flow simulation of the body’s circulatory system.

The heartbeat and blood flow respond interactively to visitors in the facility: as more people enter the University Center, the heart rate elevates; as they leave, the heartbeat lowers. 

Created in the visual style of an MRI, the 11-foot-tall, 8-foot-wide installation serves as a living welcome to visitors of the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center.

This animation features a few of the sequences we produced for the final piece, including the particle simulations of blood pressure and flow.

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