The heart attack started abruptly, a quiver in the left ventricle that starved a section of muscle of vital oxygen. Paralyzed and damaged tissue threw off the heart’s natural pumping rhythm and stretched the valves and cords that keep blood flowing through its chambers. The organ sprang a leak.
The fix was simple: a ring-shaped band that was clipped into an opening between the chambers, with a small hook supporting the stretched cords, helping the mechanism along and reversing the damage that the attack had caused.
The virtual patient, a 39-year-old male, lived. Both he and this heart attack were a simulation, visualized in exacting detail by a team of researchers at Waltham-based Dassault Systèmes who are trying to recreate a biologically accurate model of the heart. Their goal is to enable surgeons and device makers to take a virtual tour through the human body as they experiment and design fixes for it.More →