Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 8th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

15 November 2012

F'low Your Heart

About once a second, blood pours into our heart at one end, and is squeezed out at the other. The precise path each drop of blood takes as it sloshes through the compartments reveals a lot about how the heart is working. Faulty hearts often house unusual blood flow patterns. But with flesh and bones in the way, watching this flow is not straightforward. Scientists can record the movement using Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, and visualising the data can give an instant impression of the blood’s movement. Following the paths of virtual particles in the blood reveals patterns of movement (left panels in videos). While a new technique, called volume tracking, displays the overall volume and surface of the body of liquid (right panels). When combined (final clip), the visualisations give doctors a window on the heart, and could be used in early diagnosis of heart disease.

Written by Anthony Lewis

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.