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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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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Sickle cell vaso-occlusion

Nov 02, 2020

Here inside this blood vessel, the circulation of red blood cells is obstructed by sickled red blood cells aggregating, sticking together, and leading to an event known as a vaso-occlusive crisis — a central characteristic of sickle cell disease (SCD)

As we zoom out, we are able to see more damage being done in other microvessels.

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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Birth of a chimeric antigen receptor

Apr 02, 2020

Watch a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) sprout from the surface of a genetically re-engineered white blood cell.

A chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) sprouts from the surface of a genetically re-engineered white blood cell.

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The promise of antibody drug conjugates

Jul 02, 2020
What if instead of using traditional chemotherapy, antibodies could deliver a drug payload directly to tumor cells — and spare the normal cells?
In this sequence, antibody-drug conjugates can be seen here in the airway, descending down to cancerous epithelial cells and binding to specific antigens only found on targeted cells.
Monoclonal antibody technologies continue to evolve and hold great promise for the treatment of a wide number of diseases.

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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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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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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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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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Cytotoxic T cells targeting tumor cells | immunotherapy animation

May 03, 2022

A close-up fly-through of tumor cells, and the arrival of cytotoxic t cells intent on eradicating them. Activation and proliferation of cytotoxic T cells are critical for immune-mediated tumor destruction.

A key challenge we were given for this sequence: develop a rendering approach that mimics infrared thermal microscopy imaging techniques.

Researchers have been making advancements in understanding the thermal behavior of cells – for example, the ability to read the signatures of tumor cells due to their higher metabolism – in order to be used alongside existing histological analysis methods.

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Augmented reality in the palm of your hand? Yes!

Jul 11, 2017

Earlier this summer, we were selected to be developers for the Merge Cube. The video below shows some explorations with augmented reality and the cube.

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Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) | animation

May 16, 2022

A few selected sequences we produced for a recent Medscape CME / ABIM MOC / CE symposium titled NASH 101: What You Need to Know Now

The full 2.5- minute animation was developed to be played as a visual aid when the moderator discussed epidemiology and pathogenesis.

We were asked to conceptualize and develop this visual science story. It provides insight into the pathophysiology of NAFLD and NASH, including the role of fatty acids, insulin resistance, and steatosis, as well as mitochondrial dysfunction, excess ROS production, and the stress put on the endoplasmic reticulum inside ballooning hepatocytes. 

In addition, we depicted key attributes of the progression of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) including bloated hepatocytes and the fat droplets accumulating inside, displaced cell organelles, lobular inflammation, and the scarring (fibrosis) that occurs as collagen fibers fill the spaces once cell death occurs.

In the last few years, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) have become the most common causes of chronic liver disease worldwide. This epidemic is starting to parallel the epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

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Experience Virtual Inflammation in the Vive

Jan 02, 2018

VR experience examining the pathogenesis and inflammatory cycle of psoriatic arthritis.

What does virtual reality provide that a linear video cannot? For this MOA, we immerse the viewer into the inflammatory cycle of psoriatic arthritis and reiterate the story in a non-linear fashion — allowing users the ability to roam around and explore as they wish.

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Immunotherapy in lung cancer

Feb 15, 2018

Activated T cells of the immune system targeting and destroying tumor cells. Once lysis occurs, the T cell moves to another cancer cell and repeats the process.

Sequence created for program that explores the impact of immunotherapies for lung cancer.

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Burden of Genius excerpts

Mar 29, 2018

One of a few sequences we produced for the film “Burden of Genius.”

This documentary explores the life of Dr. Thomas Starzl, a man many call the greatest surgeon of the 20th century and “the father of modern transplantation.”

In 1967, Dr. Starzl stunned the world with the first successful liver transplantation.

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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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