“Atherosclerosis” by Nucleus Medical Art

  • ©Thomas Brown  Nucleus Medical Art


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Company / Institution / Agency:

  • Nucleus Medical Art


    This 3D animation illustrates the story of atherosclerosis from the point of view of a cell. Created for a consumer audience, it is designed to be a unique, immersive experience that holds viewers interest while educating them about this complex, slow-developing process.

    Beginning with the probable cause, which is damage to the inner wall of an artery (caused by high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or smoking), the story progresses to early-stage atherosclerosis, depicted as the build-up of cholesterol and other waste products inside the arterial wall. Through a series of chemical reactions, this build-up of material becomes plaque. In response, the body˙s immune system sends special cells to attack the plaque, ultimately making it larger. As the plaque enlarges, the inside of the artery narrows, reducing blood flow to the heart muscle supplied by this artery. The body tries to contain the plaque and keep the inner arterial wall surface smooth by forming a cap of smooth muscle cells over the plaque. Eventually the cap breaks open, releasing pieces of plaque that flow downstream, one of which becomes lodged in another part of this heart artery. The piece of plaque forms a blood clot that eventually blocks blood flow to the part of the heart supplied by the artery. The blockage causes a deficit of oxygen to this area, resulting in damage to the heart that can lead to heart attack or even death.


    Cinema 4D, Adobe After Effects

Additional Contributors:

    Director: Thomas Brown

    Writer: Mary Beth Clough

    Executive Producer: Ron Collins, Keith Pavlik

    Technical Director: Stephen Boyd

    Animators: Thomas Brown, Stephen Boyd, Hoc Kho, Nobles Green, Erin Frederickson

    Sound Design: Thomas Brown

    System & Network: Mike Shambaugh

    Graphic Design: Shannol Grant, Meredith Boyter

    Production: Nucleus Medical Art

Animation / Video Overview: