Heart Project

By Ethan Dunn

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Blue Balloons: represents the atrium and ventricle for the right of the heart.

Red Balloons: represents the atrium and ventricle for the left side of the heart.

Purple Balloons: represents the lungs.

Blue Pipe Cleaners: represents the deoxygenated blood, the vena cava and pulmonary artery.

Red Pipe Cleaners: represents the oxygenated blood, the pulmonary vein and aorta.
Purple Pipe Cleaners: represents the changing from oxygenated to deoxygenated blood (and visa versa)

Brown Soda Caps: represents to two semi-lunar valves, the pulmonary and aortic valves.

Red Soda Caps: represents the two atrioventricular valves, the tricuspid and mitral valves.

Black Felt: represents the two nodes, the AV and SA nodes.

Orange Pipe Cleaners: represents the electrical system of the heart.

Green Pipe Cleaners: represents the papillary muscles.

Purple Sponge: represents the septum of the heart.

The Heart and Lungs

So why balloons?

In the heart, the right side is what appears to be on the left side to the viewer, and the left side is what appears to be on the right side to the viewer.

I chose balloons because of their variable size and their squishiness. I made the lungs the biggest balloons because they are the biggest part of the CVS. The atriums, the top part of the heart, are smaller than the ventricles, the bottom part of the heart because in the heart, this is how they are sized comparably. I made the red balloons on the left side of the heart a bit bigger than the blue balloons on the right side because there is more muscle. There is more muscle because this part of the heart is pumping blood to the rest of the heart, instead of the right side, which is just pumping to the lungs. I also chose special colors. The lungs are purple because this is where deoxygenated blood becomes oxygenated (blueish blood turning to redish). The right side of the heart is blue because this side has deoxygenated blood, which is blueish. The left side of the heart is red because this shide has oxygenated blood, which is redish.

What about that sponge?

You may notice that in between the ventricles there is a purple sponge. I choose the sponge to show just how big the septum is (it's huge!). This is the septum of the heart. The septum separates the ventricles of the ventricles of the heart. Notice that the septum does not go the atriums because the atriums are not connected.

The Electrical System and Heartbeat

We know through conservation of energy and physics that everything requires energy to move, and that energy cannot be created or destroyed. This means for the heart to squeeze, we need energy. We need a way for energy to get to the heart, so the heart has an electrical system. We have two nodes that receive the energy and relay it through the heart to pump it. You have the SA node and the AV node. The SA node is where it all begins. THe SA node is located in the right atrium of the heart. It receives the current and sends the pulse to the left atrium that controls the aortic valve, which we'll cover later. The SA node also sends the current to the AV node, which controls the therapsid valve, which we'll also cover later. The signal is now sent down through the bundle of his, which is essentially a bunch of conductive pathways. This splits into a left and right side, going to the left and right walls of the heart, controlling the squeezing of the heart. This creates more pressure, opening the pulmonary and aortic valves. In my model, this is represented by the orange pipe cleaners. I chose pipe cleaners because the center of the pipe cleaner is metal, which is conductive. This is almost like an insulated wire, like the bundle of his is.

Now in all conduction systems, you have a slight delay since the current has to travel. You just can't make current appear anywhere (conservation of energy). This causes certain valves to open at different times, causing different sounds. If you listen closely to your heart, you hear a LUBB followed by a DUBB. The lubb is also known as S1 and the dubb is also known as S2. The lubb is caused by the closing of the tricuspid and mitral valves. The current reaches these valves first because there is less distance. Now the dubb is caused by the closing of the aortic and pulmonary valves. This comes second because of the greater distance for the pulse to reach the side walls of the heart. To reword it, the lubb of the heart is the pushing of blood out and the dubb is the refilling of the heart. Things like blood pressure are determined by the precise closing and opening of the valves. If you are ever in a hospital, you might be hooked up to a device that reads your heart. This is a pattern that is formed by the electrical current. It graphs the lubbs and the dubbs and gives doctors an accurate reading of the condition of your heart. One full cycle is a lubb followed by a dubb. The graph that this forms is called systole.

The heart is a well oiled machine that runs all the way through your life. That is stressful on the heart, so the heart may start to have issues like irregular heartbeat. People sometimes need pacemakers to keep the current moving through to keep a constant pace of the heart. There are also issues with valves, like back washing and inefficiencies. This changes the pattern of the lubb and the dubb, and sometimes even the sound. There can be sounds like gurgling and changes in how they sound in general. This can easily picked up by the nurse the the doctor when you go in. When they listen to your heart, they are making sure that it is beating correctly by listening to these sounds.

The Capillary System and Lungs

Once the oxygenated blood leaves the heart through the aorta, which we'll cover later, the blood is delivered to the cells and deoxygenated. The point where blood can be both oxygenated and deoxygenated are the capillaries. This is why in the lungs and the top and bottom the body are purple, to show both deoxygenated and oxygenated. Oxygen is delivered and blood is oxygenated through diffusion. Eventually, the deoxygenated blood comes together in the vena cava and is delivered back to the heart.

The Arteries, Veins, and Valves

Now you may be thinking that arteries only carry oxygenated blood and veins only carry deoxygenated blood, well you're wrong. The correct definition is as follows...

Arteries: carries blood AWAY from the heart

Veins: carries blood TOWARDS the heart

Now this is a big thing when going from the right ventricle to the lungs and then to the left atrium. This is because deoxygenated blood is going away from the heart to the lungs. This makes it an artery. Once the blood has been oxygenated through diffusion in the lungs (note that the lungs are actually quite spongy), it goes back to the heart, making it a vein.

There are 4 main arteries and veins in the CVS. They are as follows...

Vena Cava: takes deoxygenated blood from the body and puts it into the right atrium of the heart.

Pulmonary Artery: takes deoxygenated from the right ventricle and delivers it to the lungs to be oxygenated.

Pulmonary Vein: takes oxygenated blood from the lungs and deposits it into the left atrium of the heart.

Aorta: takes oxygenated blood from the left ventricle and takes it to the rest of the body.

In my model, these are shown by the pipe cleaners, which are colored to show if they are oxygenated or deoxygenated. In the body, there are two vena cavas, the superior and inferior. The superior is from the top of the body and the inferior is from the bottom the the body.

So what about the pipe cleaners?

I chose pipe cleaners because you can put multiple of them together to show different sizes. Pipe cleaners also come in different colors. I used the colors to show what the blood currently is. Red is oxygenated, blue is deoxygenated, and purple is going between oxygenated and deoxygenated and visa versa. As you are closer to the heart, the arteries and veins are larger. Note mainly the aorta, which is huge when leaving the left ventricle, but becomes smaller as it splits to go the the top of the body and the bottom of the body. Eventually there are many splits to go to the whole body.

What about the valves?

Now let's look at the valves. In the heart, there are two types of valves, atrioventricular and semi-lunar. First, let's look at the atrioventricular valves. In my heart, these valves are represented by the red soda bottle caps. The one on the right side of the heart is the tricuspid valve. This is located in between the right atrium and the right ventricle, and stops the flow when the heart is squeezed. The other valve on the left side of the heart is the mitral valve, which is located in between the left atrium and left ventricle. These valves open and close through the squeezing of the heart. This is controlled by the electrical system, which we covered earlier and the papillary muscles, which connect from the side of the heart to the valve. In my model, the papillary muscles are represented by the green pipe cleaners, to show how stringy they are.

Now let's look at the semi-lunar valves. These are represented by the brown soda bottle caps. You have two semi-lunar valves, the pulmonary valve and the aortic valve. The pulmonary is on the right side of the heart in the ventricle, and it opens to send deoxygenated blood the the lungs to be oxygenated. The aortic valve is on the left side in the ventricle, and it opens to send oxygenated blood the the rest of the body. These valves are different, they do not need to have special muscles to open, they are opened by pressure of the blood and are designed to open one way, like a soda bottle cap is.

I chose bottle caps to represent this because in their use, they act as valves. They stop flow in soda bottles, stopping messes. This is the same idea here. The valves in the heart stop the flow though the squeezing of the heart. I chose the direction of the caps to show the direction of the blood. When you take off the cap of a soda bottle, it is going out. through the top. I showed this in the heart, so when you take off the top, that is the direction of the blood.

Blood Flow

Let's start where the vena cavas come together. The blood is now deoxygenated. First, the blood goes into the right atrium of the heart. It is pushed through the tricuspid valve though the movement of the papillary muscles. The blood is now in the right ventricle of the heart. The blood is pushed through squeezing, which is caused by the electrical system, through the pulmonary valve. The blood is now in the pulmonary artery. The blood travels to the lung, where it is reoxygenated by splitting up into very little passage ways, a cell thick. Here the blood is reoxygenated by diffusion. The blood now travels out of the lung in the pulmonary artery. It is delivered into the left atrium of the heart where it is pushed through the mitral valve through the use of the papillary muscles, again. The blood is now in the last part of the heart, the left ventricle. Here through pressure it goes through the aortic valve and is in the aorta. The aorta splits many ways and delivers the blood to all of the living cells in the body. Here in the capillaries it is deoxygenated and travels back to the heart through the vena cava to start the cycle over again.

The overall function of the CVS is to give all living cells in the body oxygen. WIthout oxygen, the cells would die. The CVS is a system to help get oxygen to all cells efficiently. It uses the heart and the lungs to pump blood and reoxygenated blood so that all of the cells are happy and healthy.