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HEART MODELS oveerview difinition, types, how to choose

Heart models are widely used in various scientific and medical fields for research, teaching, and training purposes. These models can help to visualize the structure and function of the heart, as well as simulate different cardiac conditions and diseases. In this article, we will provide an overview of heart models, including their definition, types, and how to choose the right model for your specific needs.

Definition of Heart Models:

A heart model is a replica of the human heart, either anatomically accurate or simplified, that is used as a tool for education, research, or training. These models are typically made of various materials such as plastic, rubber, or silicone and can range in size from small handheld models to life-size replicas.

Types of Heart Models:

There are several types of heart models available, each with its own specific purpose and use. Some of the common types of heart models include:

1. Anatomical Models:

These models replicate the structures of the human heart in detail, including the chambers, valves, and blood vessels. They are commonly used in medical schools and in the training of healthcare professionals to teach about the structure and function of the heart.

2. Physiological Models:

Physiological models are designed to replicate the functioning of the heart, such as mimicking the pumping action and blood flow through the chambers and vessels. These models are often used to study heart diseases and conditions, as they can simulate different physiological changes and abnormalities.

3. Computer Simulations:

With advancements in technology, computer simulations have become increasingly popular in simulating the structure and function of the heart. These models use virtual models and data to create accurate representations of the heart, allowing for interactive learning and research.

4. Pathological Models:

Pathological models are designed to replicate specific heart conditions and diseases, such as coronary artery disease or congenital heart defects. These models can be helpful in understanding the impact of these conditions on the heart and can aid in developing treatment plans.

5. Surgical Training Models:

Surgical training models are used for practicing and refining surgical techniques and procedures. These models are often made of realistic materials and can provide a hands-on experience for surgeons and medical students.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Heart Model:

When selecting a heart model, it is important to consider your specific needs and purpose for using the model. Here are some factors to consider:

1. Purpose:

As mentioned earlier, there are different types of heart models designed for different purposes. Decide what you will be using the model for, whether it is for educational, research, or training purposes, and choose a model that best fits your needs.

2. Level of Detail:

Anatomical and physiological models offer high levels of detail, whereas computer simulations and simplified models may have less detail. Consider the level of detail required for your specific purpose when choosing a model.

3. Materials:

Heart models can be made of various materials, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, plastic models are more affordable but may not be as realistic as silicone models. Choose a material that is suitable for your needs and budget.

4. Size:

Heart models can range from small handheld models to life-size replicas. Consider the size of the model you need based on the intended use and available space.

5. Budget:

Heart models can vary in price depending on the type and level of detail. It is important to consider your budget when choosing a model, as there are options available for various price ranges.


In summary, heart models are valuable tools for education, research, and training. They can be anatomical, physiological, pathological, surgical, or computer simulations, each with its own specific purpose. When choosing a heart model, it is important to consider factors such as the purpose, level of detail, materials, size, and budget. With the right heart model, you can enhance your understanding of the heart's structure and function, and improve your skills in diagnosing and treating cardiac conditions and diseases. 

Location of the Heart

The human heart is located within the thoracic cavity, medially between the lungs in the space known as the mediastinum. Figure 1 shows the position of the heart within the thoracic cavity. Within the mediastinum, the heart is separated from the other mediastinal structures by a tough membrane known as the pericardium, or pericardial sac, and sits in its own space called the pericardial cavity. The dorsal surface of the heart lies near the bodies of the vertebrae, and its anterior surface sits deep to the sternum and costal cartilages. The great veins, the superior and inferior venae cavae, and the great arteries, the aorta and pulmonary trunk, are attached to the superior surface of the heart, called the base. The base of the heart is located at the level of the third costal cartilage, as seen in Figure 1. The inferior tip of the heart, the apex, lies just to the left of the sternum between the junction of the fourth and fifth ribs near their articulation with the costal cartilages. The right side of the heart is deflected anteriorly, and the left side is deflected posteriorly. It is important to remember the position and orientation of the heart when placing a stethoscope on the chest of a patient and listening for heart sounds, and also when looking at images taken from a midsagittal perspective. The slight deviation of the apex to the left is reflected in a depression in the medial surface of the inferior lobe of the left lung, called the cardiac notch.

Shape and Size of the Heart

The shape of the heart is similar to a pinecone, rather broad at the superior surface and tapering to the apex. A typical heart is approximately the size of your fist: 12 cm (5 in) in length, 8 cm (3.5 in) wide, and 6 cm (2.5 in) in thickness. Given the size difference between most members of the sexes, the weight of a female heart is approximately 250–300 grams (9 to 11 ounces), and the weight of a male heart is approximately 300–350 grams (11 to 12 ounces). The heart of a well-trained athlete, especially one specializing in aerobic sports, can be considerably larger than this. Cardiac muscle responds to exercise in a manner similar to that of skeletal muscle. That is, exercise results in the addition of protein myofilaments that increase the size of the individual cells without increasing their numbers, a concept called hypertrophy. Hearts of athletes can pump blood more effectively at lower rates than those of nonathletes. Enlarged hearts are not always a result of exercise; they can result from pathologies, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The cause of an abnormally enlarged heart muscle is unknown, but the condition is often undiagnosed and can cause sudden death in apparently otherwise healthy young people.

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