Here’s the final assignment for my surgical illustration class. It’s depicting a VP Shunt Replacement in a child. VP shunts are used in cases of Hydrocephalus where cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is accumulating in the ventricles of the brain. The shunt, which travels through adipose tissue down to the peritoneum (as depicted in the second smaller image), allows the CSF to drain properly. Shunt replacements are required for various reasons, one of which is CSF blockage at the valve of the shunt, which I have shown.
Part of my Clinical Sciences course included a focus on pharmacology; specifically, the importance of GPCR’s in drug treatment. G protein-coupled receptors, or GPCRs, are transmembrane receptors that receive an extracellular stimulus and activate a signal transduction pathway inside the cell. Almost half of all pharmaceutical drugs target GPCRs, as opposed to other membrane proteins, to enter cells. I chose to depict the GPCR Rhodopsin. Rhodopsin is a visual pigment in the retina responsible for vision in low-light conditions. Rhodopsin is composed of an opsin (7-transmembrane helices) covalently bound to a retinal (photoreactive chromophore). In my composition, Rhodopsin is the purple protein located within the phospholipid bilayer. Rhodopsin is activated by a photon of light which begins the signal transduction pathway, which I wont get into… Enjoy!
Our final project of the term, often referred to as ‘The John-Scott Project’ was to illustrate a physiological concept in 2D (for John’s class) and in 3D (for Scott’s). I chose to do a pathophysiological concept of the reovirus. Reovirus, short for Respiratory Enteric Orphan Virus, is a naturally occurring virus that targets cancer cells and is harmless to normal cells. (You’ve probably encountered reovirus at some point in your life but your immune system has removed it.) Normal cells have Protein Kinase R (PKR) which protects them against viral infections. Cancer cells have an activated Ras Pathway (involved in cellular signal transduction) which blocks PKR activity, thus allowing reovirus to invade, There is a variant of reovirus, called Reolysin, which is currently under Phase 3 clinical trials (final testing) for cancer treatment. What’s so amazing about this virus, is that it has the potential to treat an overwhelming majority of cancers. 75% of primary carcinomas have Ras turned on and 95-100% of metastatic tumors have it on, thus the potential to be invaded and killed by reovirus. I’m very excited to see what happens in the future!
Here’s the 2D illustration using Photoshop. (Note, the reovirus are much smaller than what is depicted)
Here’s the 3D version using 3Ds Max of reovirus finding the angiosarcoma