My name is Craig Daly, am a lecturer in the School of Life Sciences at University of Glasgow. My main interest is in teaching physiology and pharmacology, but particularly the cardiovascular system, and in particular, the blood vessels; the arteries and veins. I'm interested in the 3D structure of those arteries and veins. I'm also interested in the way in which neurotransmitters activate these blood vessels, and that requires me to have some understanding of how the receptor proteins that those neurotransmitters act on are distributed through the wall of the blood vessel. It's that question that got me interested in using microscopy, and I use a laser of scanning, confocal microscopy. These are specialized microscopes that have three or perhaps more lasers. The microscope allows you to create a three-dimensional structure from the sample. So we would take a sample of a blood vessel, we would stain it with some fluid essence stains, also fluorescent drugs that would bind to the receptors, the stains would identify structures within the cells that we were interested in, and then we can use that fluid essence to create a 3D map of the structure of the vessel. What that will enable us to do, is to take a 3D model, a digital model of the blood vessel and then import into specialized software. The microscopes that I use have been available since about the mid '80s to the late '80s, and if any of you who are watching us can remember what computing power was like in the mid to late '80s, you'll know that there wasn't very much you could do with a 3D model. However, these days with the development of very sophisticated gaming computers with advanced graphics cards, we can now process that 3D data that I've been collecting over the years. Now the software that comes with the microscopes often is very limited and allows you only to rotate until the 3D model. But I find a way of processing the data in such a way that I could take that 3D data, enter to a fairly sophisticated animation software. The type of software I'm talking about would be Autodesk Maya or Autodesk 3DS Max, or you could use 4D cinema or blender that are a whole host of different animation packages. Those packages allow you to manipulate the 3D data in a way that has previously not been possible. By manipulation, what I mean is real animation, we can bend the structures, inflate them, deflate them. We can light them with unlimited numbers of lights, we can put textures on them, and we can add physical attributes, and if we were to take a blood vessel for instance, where we wanted to animate the flow of blood down a blood vessel, we wouldn't have to animate every individual blood cell. All we would need to do is to set up a physics engine that fires particles down through the blood vessel, and we would use variables such as gravity and any other factors to determine how these particles would bounce off of the blood vessel wall, and we can then attach images of a blood cell to those particles, and that would give us an animation that looks fairly realistic. Having created an animation with 3D structures that are derived from real biological samples from the microscope, we could then take those 3D animations and send them into games technology of software, and for instance, one of the softwares that we're using is Unity. Anybody who's interested in designing games will know about Unity. It's one of the most popular platforms. That now give us the possibility where we take a 3D structure from the microscope, enter an animation software, from the animation software, enter the games engine, and now we can start to build interactive applications where students can interact with the data in the form of a game, and gamification is now something in education is becoming quite important. One last thing I would say about these 3D models that we have now is because they're in a form that can be used by animation software or by game software, that form can also be 3D printed. So now we have an opportunity to 3D print some very small biological structures that previously would be difficult for many students to imagine in their minds and now we can get them a 3D model in the class. Another aspect to the work is public engagement. I think it's fairly common that research scientists are often not very good at public engagement, and I've been guilty of that myself in the past, stuck in a lab and not really get [inaudible] talking to people about the type of research that I do. Now, this 3D animation work that we've been doing has given us the idea of providing a public engagement platform for other researchers who use microscopes in the similar way. We use our platform called Sketchfab. Sketchfab is a platform that allows you to upload 3D models. Think of it as a YouTube for three-dimensional digital models. You open an account at the Sketchfab, and you can load up your 3D models. The advantage there is that Sketchfab account can be accessed on a webpage. So from anywhere in the world, the researchers can look at their own 3D data, they can share it with the collaborators or with any public engagement event that they may be at. A real advantage of Sketchfab is that it allows you to visualize the data in virtual reality. If all that you had was a phone, you could download a Sketchfab page which is Sketchfab, Glasgow Life Sciences. Dial that up on Google Search, put it onto your phone, and select one of the models. Click on the little VR button, which looks like a little pair of goggles on the screen. The screen will split in two, and you can then put your phone into a Google Cardboard viewer, and visualize the model in a semi immersive VR environment. If you have a computer which is attached to a fully MES of VR headset, like an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive or one of the other headsets, then you would be able to visualize your models completely in a fully immerse of VR environment. Now present Glasgow sciences has around about 23 individual 3D models. What we've done with these models is we've packaged them up into a virtual reality art gallery. This allows the users to wander around the gallery, looking at photographs of some of our images on the walls, but also interacting with the 3D models within the art gallery itself. Our plan is over the coming years is to constantly add to that gallery, add in new rooms, maybe have special exhibits, and continually increase the space that we have available for researchers to engage in public engagement. If you're interested in the detailed workflow from the microscope through to full immersive virtual reality, then this was outlined in a video that was created by the University of Glasgow. It's only a few minutes. It's available on the University's YouTube channel and it's also available in my own YouTube channel, which you can find if you just search for YouTube Craig Daly, and there will be a link me to available within the course if you want to watch that video.