Pulmonary Physiology Animation

January 1, 2023


I was hired by Educator and Pulmonologist, Chris Green, to make an interactive animation demonstrating the complexities of ventilation-perfusion ratios on oxygen and carbon dioxide saturation. The full version of the animation has 5 interactive sliders, and readouts for V/Q, PAO2, PaO2, SaO2, and PaCO2 for two separate alveoli as well as the combined system.

I drew the entire animation in Adobe Illustrator, then used Adobe Animate to layout my stage, and then coded the interactivity in Javascript. This is a stagnant mini-version:

As the project grew, it required new rational equation regressions, and mathematics graduate student Jason Torchinsky joined our team. Jason was able to handle some ambitious requests, and the resulting equations were the most difficult I’ve ever seen. One equation is over 2,000 characters in JavaScript. Some of the equations use catastrophic cancelation and require 10^480 exponents, which are beyond the range of normal javascript math. Thanks to the Math.js library, I was able to solve these problems and get a working simulation!

The interactive animation is being piloted in medical school classes now. You you can interreact with the full version.

Animation Made by:

Christopher G. Green, MD, Pediatric Pulmonologist and Professor Emeritus

Kate Baldwin, PhD, Scientific Visual Communicator and Analytical Illustrator (yours truly)

Jason Torchinsky, Mathematics PhD Student

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