Heart Failure MOD Animation

Exploring the Role of Contractility in Heart Failure

Shifting Perspectives of Heart Failure

Drug targeting of the molecular contractile mechanism—the sarcomere—is a novel approach to treating heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). This idea is gaining traction, as impaired contractility is seen as a central defect in HFrEF. However, while there is well established science underlying this approach, it isn’t widely known and is challenging to visualize clearly. AXS Studio took up this challenge and created this first-of-its-kind mechanism of disease  animation about the role of contractility in heart failure.

Created for

Content development
Molecular visualization
3D modelling

Innovative MOD Visualization Leads to Understanding

Much is known about the events of an individual actin-myosin interaction: the cross-bridge cycle. For this heart failure MOD animation, we took a deep dive into the literature. Our research revealed that heart failure can be characterized as a decrease in the number of strongly-bound myosin heads. This inspired a strong, didactic visual symbol to portray impaired contractility. We rigged the myosin heads to glow when bound strongly. This way, fewer heads glowing signifies impaired contractility. To depict this activity clearly, we leveraged molecular structure data and built a scientifically accurate sarcomere model at an unprecedented level of realism. The result is truly striking and a first for MOD animations about heart failure.

A Popular & Award Winning Heart Failure MOD

Three partnered pharmaceutical companies have used this innovative heart failure MOD animation globally to increase awareness among clinicians. The medical communications sponsor deployed it to heart congresses (virtual and in-person), presentations, face-to-face meetings and as an online educational resource. They called the video “one of the most popular assets for our disease state education campaign.” Moreover, it went on to win the Award of Excellence in Instructional Animation at the Association of Medical Illustrators annual meeting.

Looking Forward

We designed the disease awareness story and visual assets to be easily adapted to a future MOA animation—which has since been completed. The dynamic sarcomere model our medical animators created will continue to help illustrate and explain new contractility data as studies continue.