Heart - Virtual Reality

Deployed: 11-16-2021



  • Observe the flow of blood through the chambers of the heart and the Great Vessels
  • Demonstrate the contents of the chambers of the heart and their spatial relationships
  • Observe the functionality of the cusps in the heart, and appreciate the differences among them
  • Review the spatial relationships among the chambers of the heart

User Behavior

  • Individual exploration of the space immersed in VR during a scheduled lab station time
  • Faculty physically present to troubleshoot and answer content questions
  • Link to access the space on desktop, or VR if the students had their own devices, provided for personal use


As users enter the experience in VR they find themselves standing within the right atrium of the heart and progress through all 4 chambers. When standing within each chamber audio narration guides the students to identify key structures labeled within the space. Videos placed at the location of the cusps demonstrated their functionality and blood cells (colored blue in the right chambers, red in the left) could be observed moving according to the flow of blood for orientation and dynamism. At any time users could look down at their feet to see a label of what chamber they were standing in. Between the right ventricle and left atrium users were presented a video of the semilunar valve accompanied by audio narration of its functionality. Additional interactions include prompts to stick their heads through the fossa ovalis while in the right atrium to view the left atrium on the other side of the wall.

Outside Assets

An undetailed 3D model of a human heart created by Anna Sieban was downloaded from E-Learning UMCG’s sketchfab page. The downloaded model was imported into Adobe Medium, a virtual reality digital model sculpting program. There, Kristen Ramirez added more detailed topology, accentuated anatomical features, and added realistic coloring to the model.

The University of Minnesota hosts the Atlas of Human Cardiac Anatomy of downloadable video files from within functioning hearts. Videos of cusp functioning were added to the 3D heart in Spoke, inserted as a plane scaled to match the size and location in the 3D object.

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