Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Real Hearts, Remarkable Images

If you've ever wanted to see the heart from within, you must see the work of Paul A. Iaizzo, PhD from the University of Minnesota. On this website are images obtained from actual human hearts removed before organ donation and bathed with perfusate and nutrients in Dr. Iaizzo's lab, permitting the heart to continue beating approximately 4-5 hours after it was removed to obtain these incredible images using tiny fiberoptic cameras placed within the heart chambers. His work was supported by a grant from Medtronic, Inc.
We have created a library of short Video clips to allow you to visualize the beating human heart, all the valve actions, the contractions of atria and ventricles, and the architecture of the heart as it beats. The video clips include those from 14 human hearts that we have reanimated to date, as well as still images from additional human hearts that were perfusion fixed; that is, they were preserved so to maintain their shape at the end stages of filling.

These experimental procedures and research protocols were reviewed and approved by the University of Minnesota Institutional Review Board. Human hearts for this project were obtained both as generous gifts from LifeSource Upper Midwest Organ Procurement Organization, Inc, St. Paul, Minnesota and the Anatomy Bequest Program of the University of Minnesota. This research is made possible due to the generous gifts of individuals whose hearts have been donated for research purposes. Their final act of generosity will enhance understanding of the inner workings of the human heart and contribute to lifesaving advances in cardiac medicine.
Start with the "Website Tutorial" to understand how to use the site. His videos contain truly remarkable images of the incredible inner workings of the human heart.

-Wes

3 comments:

Josh S. said...

Thanks for posting this! I have worked with Paul for the last year, on an anesthesia-related project. He is a remarkable researcher, but is a very gifted and well-respected teacher as well. He is always looking for ways to bring the benefits of his research to more people, and I know he will be grateful for your help. The VH project is truly remarkable.

As an interesting footnote, the VH lab is the same operating suite in which Dr. Lillihei performed the first open-heart surgeries.

Anonymous said...

I stopped by the booth at ACC.

This was utterly amazing. A lot of people were oohing and ahhing over the images.

Plan on viewing more now that I'm home.

CardioNP

Josh S. said...

I was in a hurry when I made my earlier post - I meant to say "NOT ONLY is he a remarkable researcher, but he is a gifted and well-respected teacher as well." Just in case there's any confusion :)