The Journal of Plastination

Abstracts Presented at the 10th Interim Meeting on Plastination Toledo, Ohio, 2011

Fungal infection of plastinated brain slices in high temperature storage rooms. Alshehry, Murad A. and Alobeaci, Mahir M. Faculty of Medicine. King Fahad Medical City (KFMC), Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

In desert conditions in Riyadh City in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, plastinated brain slices are regularly stored in dry, higher temperature environments of more than 30̊ C. Because of these conditions, a white crystal precipitate is seen in brain slices, particularly located in the white matter. The objective of this study is to determine the origin and type of contaminant, and solutions to prevent brain slice contamination.  Methods: Several brain slices were used for this study. Feathery crystals were  scraped  from the brain slices surface and then swabbed onto two petri dishes containing broad range growth medium. Two types of growth medium were used for this experiment, that is, Sabouraud dextrose agar and Corn Meal dextrose agar. Crystals from the slices were swabbed onto both media types and incubated at 30°C in humid incubator. For the control sample, f storing benches was swabbed in each of the media type stated previously. The media containing crystals was allowed to grow for a month. Results: Mycological growth was found on both mediums of Sabouraud dextrose agar and Corn Meal dextrose agar petri dishes after 1 month of incubation The petri dishes were positive for Aspergillus fumigates.The control plates showed colonies of Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus.

Conclusion: Aspergillus fumigatus is the contaminating agent of the plastinated brain slices. We conclude that the contamination of the plastinated brain slices with the airborn fungus was a result of storing the specimens in a dry, high temperature environment.


Use of plastinated camel brain as neuroanatomy teaching aids. Basset Aly A.E*, Soliman K.Z., Selim A. , Abdel Aziz S.E., Nosiur H., Konsowa M.,Omar A., Hilal A., Atia A., Khairy S.and Elhadi E. Plastination Laboratory, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig , Egypt

Plastinated camel brains have been shown to be effective in teaching and research purposes, enhancing the quality of education in neuroanatomy.

Methods: Five camel brains were plastinated using the standard S10 technique. The brains were fixed by injection of cold 10% formalin for 4 weeks, dehydrated by freeze substitution in cold acetone, forced impregnated (Biodur S10&S3) and. cured  (BiodurS6).

Results: The plastinated camel brains were dry, easy to handle and durable. All structures on both ventral and dorsal surfaces were very clear. The brain slices showed contrast between grey and white matter. Also the deep origin of some cranial nerves and nuclei were distinguished, especially the spinal trigeminal nucleus, hypoglossal nucleus and dorsal nucleus of the vagus.

Conclusion: Plastinated camel brain specimens and slices are non-toxic and ideal for teaching purposes and research.  Digital photos of the specimens were used for e-learning. This work is supported by a project from ministry of higher education ( CIQAP ,2nd cycle 2009 ,code zag- vet-1).


Brief history of plastination in Kyrgyzstan. Belov Georgei*and Aidarova Dinara Department of Pathologic Morphology of the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavonic University, Institute of Polymeric Technologies, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

The aim of this work is to analyze the legal, financial, technological and scientific documents of mass media articles about the Centre for Plastination in Kyrgyzstan since 1997 (Institute of Morphology and Polymer Technologies in 2002). The largest investment project in medicine in Kyrgyzstan included the newest technologies of sectional, 3-dimensional and corrosion anatomic specimens developed by Dr. Gunther von Hagens for teaching and research process. Students of the Kyrgyz State Medical Academy (KSMA) and Kyrgyz-Russian Slavonic University (KRSU) studied anatomy using unique specimens that had an aesthetic look, unlimited keeping time, free of formalin odor, which contributed greatly to anatomy learning. Special test of students’ knowledge conducted by the Association of Central Asia Medical Schools showed KSMA to be in the leading ranks. The Museum of Plastination established in Bishkek has more than 1500 plastinated specimens, including 15 whole anatomic bodies. The Museum became a place for training first year students, practicing physicians and surgeons. Mobile training sessions on several topics were organized for students of other universities The Museum, the most visited  among others, had many foreign guests, physicians and laypersons, people of different faiths who expressed their delight for the collection.. Besides the Museum, the investments of G. von Hagens were directed to the repair of the building of morphology department of KSMA, the Institute of Physiology and High-Altitude Pathology of the National Academy of Sciences, and the reconstruction of refrigeration and equipment of the Bureau of Pathologic Anatomy, Bureau of Forensic Medical Examination. Anatomical specimens have been made with involvement of many specialists from the departments of general anatomy, topographic anatomy and operative surgery of KSMA and KRSU, members of the student’s scientific community, where many of them had training abroad also  supported the project. The legal basis concerning anatomic specimens in Kyrgyzstan, as in other NIS countries has been deteriorating since 2000. Involvement of politicians in research and teaching process disrupted all activity related to plastination. The use of human organs, including surgical amputated material and placenta, are restricted by legislation. As a result the quality of learning anatomy has decreased, the sanitary and technical state of morgues has worsened, and problems of temporary storage and burial of unclaimed corpses remain unsolved. The problems of the past demand the resolve at the present. We developed proposals to amend some chapters, regulations and guidelines of the National Health Care Law on anatomic specimens. Special attention was given to points concerning to body donation.


3D multidetector CT reconstructions of a heart and a diencephalon and brain stem, plastinated by Biodur S10 standard technique. Cerqueira, Esem1, Baptista, Carlos A. C.3, Campi, Cláudio.C.2,Silva, Adriano F 1Dept. of Anatomy, University of São Paulo/ICB/USP, São Paulo, Brazil 2Dept. of Radiology, Heart Institute, São Paulo, Brazil 3Dept. of Neurosciences, University of Toledo, U.S.A.

Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance (MR) examinations are normally used in clinical and anatomical practice. The direct examination of plastinated specimens, by CT, was evaluated concerning its internal and external structures, to ascertain their integrity. Methods: A Toshiba Aquilion 64-multdetector CT scan, at Radiology Department of the Heart Institute – University of São Paulo - USP/Brazil, was used to evaluate a plastinated heart, a diencephalon and brain stem plastinated specimens. The specimens were plastinated in 1986 at The Department of Anatomy of the Institute of Biomedical Science - ICB/USP/Brazil, using Biodur S10 standard technique. Several images were obtained from the scanned specimen slices of cross-sections of 0.5-mm thickness and 0.5-mm reconstruction interval. Three-dimensional images were reconstructed through MIP (Maximum Intensity Projection) and VR (Volume Rendering) techniques at Aquarius Net Viewer Workstation of TeraRecon Company. Also, the rate of CT attenuation coefficient (UH) of the images were measured and compared with images obtained from myocardium and white/ grey matter of a living individual.

Results: The anatomical aspect of the heart, diencephalons and brain stem of the plastinated specimens were preserved. The internal structures of the heart, such as cardiac valves, ridges and bridges (trabeculae carneae), fibrous threads (chordae tendineae) and papillary muscles where remarkably preserved. The internal and external structures of the third ventricle and the midbrain, were found  to be preserved after twenty-two years after being plastinated. The 3D reconstructions of anatomical structures of these specimens showed great detail and high spatial resolution. Radiological images showed increased attenuation rates, compared with the images of the myocardium of the living specimen.  When images of the plastinated grey and white matter was compared with the living brain specimen images, it showed reduced attenuation but less than the attenuation values of any kind of calcification. CT images were not clear enough to recognize the layers of myocardium wall, or the grey/white matter of the nervous tissue of both specimens. CT scan is an excellent method for assessing plastinated specimens, especially to reveal and evaluate either inner or outer surfaces, but not to differentiate their wall structures because the silicone impregnation altered the CT attenuation rates of specimens.


Using the plastination facilities at the medical school to establish new research, education and communication with the local community. Dall, Annette M and Chemnitz, John Department of Neurobiological Science, Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark, Europe.

At the medical faculty at the University of Southern Denmark – Odense we have facilities for S10 plastination, which was established to prepare anatomical specimens. These facilities were used in a new co-operation with the local zoo, where incidentally a giraffe was necropsied. Because giraffes have extremely high blood pressure the heart and kidney were studied.

Methods: The heart, stomach and a segment of the giraffe neck were immersion-fixed in 4% formaldehyde, dissected and plastinated using the Biodur®. S10 technique. The two fresh kidneys were CAST-injected with red epoxy-resin (Biodur® E20) via the renal artery, One kidney was immersion-fixed with 4% paraformaldehyde and plastinated with S10, while the other was macerated using NaOH.

Results: The weight of the heart was 4.2 kg. The left ventricle had a remarkable thick wall and a small lumen. The ligamentum nuchae at the neck expand from the survical vertebra 7 to the head, where it extends in width before attachment. The renal arterial structure from the renal artery to the interlobular arteries was visualized.

Conclusion: The weight of the heart corresponded to 0.5% of the total body-weight of other domestic animals. The thick wall of the left ventricle in combination with the small lumen is essential in creating the high blood pressure unique to the giraffe. The giraffe neck consists of large neck muscles and an enormous elastic ligamentum nuchae, which are significant structures in the movement of the head and neck. Our reconstruction of the renal arterial system is in accordance with the description by Maluf {Anat Rec 267:94-111, 2002}. This study is the beginning of co-operation between the medical faculty at the University and the local community.


Use of glycerin embedded specimens for teaching neuroanatomy for medical students. Fazan, Valéria P. S.School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo,Brazil.

The neuroanatomy course for our medical students (MED-NEURO) is taught using whole and sectioned, formalin-fixed brains and spinal cords. In order to have enough good quality specimens available, considerable amount of time has been needed to collect the brains and ensure proper and timely fixation.

Methods: Fixation was accomplished by arterial injection of 10% formalin. Additional tissue from autopsies were fixed by immersion. After several days in the fixative, the immersion fixed or arterially fixed tissue were then placed in 50% formalin - 50% glycerin to start the embedding process. Three days later, the specimens were placed in 100% glycerin until they sunk to the bottom of the container..

Results: The fixed specimens are wet and slippery to handle., Gloves must be worn to protect from the fixative. Differentiation of white and grey matter was difficult to appreciate on unstained, fixed cross sections. The glycerin embedded specimens are more pleasant to touch, do not drip on the student's text or notes, and do not cause tearing, respiratory irritation, and topical allergic reactions that have been a problem in anatomy laboratories in the past.

We observed that students use glycerin embedded brains more readily than formalin-fixed brains. Also, because of the dwindling availability of cadavers and increased cadaver costs, glycerin embedded specimens are more durable, reducing the need to replace the collection so often. *Support: FAPESP, CAPES, CNPq


Compare the mechanical property between pre and post-plastinated specimens. Kim, Sang-Hyun *, Hong Byung-Ouk, Lee U-Young, Kwak Dai-Soon, Lee Mi-Sun, HAN Seung-Ho. Department of Anatomy, Catholic Institute for Applied Anatomy, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.

The Catholic Institute for Applied Anatomy first made plastination specimens in 2003. Presently about 200 specimens of human organs and some whole body animal specimens used for research and education, have been plastinated. There are some advantages of making plastination specimens which are elastic and able to move slightly. But there are no trials to assess the mechanical properties of our specimens. This research compared the elasticity between pre and post plastinated specimens using Universal Test Machine.

Methods: Brain, lung, liver and kidney from one embalmed male cadaver were used. The order of high stiffness values are liver, brain, kidney and lung for pre-plastinated specimens and liver, kidney, brain and lung for post-plastinated specimens.

Results: We found the decreasing changes of elasticity are as follows: liver, 36%; brain, 24%; kidney, 62% and lung, 55%.

Conclusion: Based on these results, it is possible to predict how much elasticity would be reduced after plastination.  The information would be helpful to prepare better plastination specimens. If more samples are analyzed procedures could be developed to maintain or improve elasticity of plastinates.


Injection-corrosion technique followed by spalteholz clearing for the description of extra- and intra-osseous vascularization in the distal femur.

Koninckx Alain*, Hugon Sébastien, Barbier Olivier
Anatomy Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, University of Namur,Belgium.

We studied the feasibility of a convex vascularized osteochondral graft harvested from the medial femoral condyle and trochlea, on an anatomical and practical point of view. This work was mainly designed for a clinical outcome but the unprecedented combination of anatomical techniques used represented a real challenge.

Methods: An injection-corrosion technique was used on 16 fresh cadaver specimens, and completed by a modified Spalteholz clearing. Each step of the standard procedures was carefully watched and, if needed, adapted in real time. The extra- and intraosseous vascularization of the medial femoral condyle was systematized and the luminal diameter of the arteries was microscopically measured.

Results: The last steps of the Spalteholz clearing had to be customized due to corrosion of the cast itself. Nevertheless, a very precise visual mapping of the intraosseous vascularization could be obtained. The periosteal vessels of the medial condyle are responsible for the whole peripheral intraosseous vascularization, without any watershed region. Several constant vascular axes could be found, and may serve as a pedicle for a vascularized osteochondral graft from the medial femoral trochlea.

Conclusions: This combination of techniques is valuable for a fine definition of the intraosseous vascularization as well as extraosseous, even in a basic lab. Results are rewarding, but these demanding techniques have to be slightly customized.


Cross-sectional anatomy of carpal tunnel IN CHILDREN. Luz, Marcus A. M.¹; Camilli, José A.²; Santo-Neto, H.²Paulista University (UNIP), São José do Rio Preto, SP, Brazil.² Department of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiology and Biophysics, Institute of Biology, State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, SP, Brazil.

 Plastination is an excellent technique of impregnating anatomical materials that can be used for teaching and research. Several studies have used this technique for getting sections of anatomic details, enabling morphometric and positional analyses. Despite the advantages offered by plastination, it remains a costly and complex technique which has undergone several changes in the last years. Due to the complex nature of the plastination process many researchers still have little or no knowledge of the technique. An alternative to the plastination technique for studying small anatomical material, is embedding in paraffin.

Method: In the present study, carpal samples were taken from 12 children ranging from 2 to 11 years old. After being fixed in a 10% solution of formalin, the samples were dehydrated in ethanol, included in paraffin and submitted to microtomy to obtain cross sections of the carpal regions. After that, the sections were stained by hematoxylin and eosin and Masson's trichome. In each section, images were obtained by a digital camera capture system that was coupled to a microscope and then analyzed using Image J Version 1.32 software. The main nerve, muscle and vascular structures of the carpal tunnel were analyzed.

Results: The position of the median nerve was in the central and lateral areas of the carpal tunnel and showed marked variability. In addition, variations in position of the flexor retinaculum muscle tendons in the carpal tunnel were found. Approximately 56% of the carpal tunnel was occupied by the tendons of superficial and deep flexor muscles of the fingers. Median nerve occupied 11.9% of the area. In 16% of the samples a persistent median nerve satellite artery was observed that occupied 1.37% of the area of the carpal tunnel. The variation in size and placement of the components of the carpal tunnel can explain the syndrome of non-traumatic compression in children. Our results showed that the technique of inclusion in paraffin of small specimens provided sections with anatomical details preserved for morphometric analyses.


Innovative preparation technique produces life-like specimens and delayed decomposition. Mueller, Dean A.*, Wessels, Michael W., Akingbola, Bolaji A.*Division of Anatomical Sciences, Department of Medical Education, The University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA

 Over the past several years the embalmer at the University of Michigan has been approached by the Department of Surgery to embalm cadavers for an annual “boot camp” class. They have asked if it would be possible to preserve cadavers that would be more life-like than traditional formaldehyde-embalmed cadavers. Several solutions were tried, using chemicals including preservatives, fixatives and disinfectants with minimal success. All the attempts either failed because of rapid decomposition or the un-natural feel of the treated tissues.

Methods: We decided to contact Trinity Fluids, LLC., a Michigan based company that we currently use to supply our customized embalming chemicals. They provided an arterial chemical believed would make the cadavers have a life-like feel and last up to 5 days at room temperature without decomposition or putrefaction odors. We followed the protocol which was similar to common embalming practices on two whole body cadavers.

Results: The cadavers remained satisfactory for over 14 days. During the last 4 days a noticeable yet tolerable odor became distinct on the skin, but not noted on the organs or muscles. The results peeked many faculty and students’ interests, wondering how this process could affect plastination. For this purpose we harvested an upper limb, piece of femoral artery, liver, lung and kidney. All specimens were plastinated in the room temperature method with success. Our hope was to find a final product that would be more flexible and life-like than traditional plastination. After plastination we found no difference than specimens prepared with common embalming chemicals. We did however, notice the skin on the arm specimen continued to express a slight odor while the other tissues still had no noticeable odor. This was interesting because all the specimens were processed in the same containers and chemicals at the same time.

Conclusion: Plastination of specimens preserved initially in this manner are similar to those preserved by common embalming chemicals. The faculty in the Department of Surgery were impressed with the life-like condition of the cadavers so much so that they have requested all future cadavers to be preserved in the same manner. They are also submitting recommendations to other universities for what is hopefully to become a national surgical boot camp curriculum with other medical schools. These successes and failures have encouraged us to continue to develop the protocol and chemical to better learn how we can use it to expand and develop anatomical teaching. With minor improvements to the protocol and chemicals, we assume even greater success in the near future.


Integrated teaching of anatomy correlating with clinical anatomy with the help of plastinated specimens. Nimmagadda, Haritha kumari*¹, Tyagi Kavita¹, Mathur Brij Kishore².1Department of Anatomy,  2Department of Radiology, Mahatma Gandhi Mission’s Medical College, Mumbai, India.

Anatomy subject is taught for all medical health science courses.. Gross Anatomy is a fundamental basic course in virtually all medical training programs, and the methods used to teach it are under frequent scrutiny and revision. Students often struggle with the vast collection of new terms and complex relationship between structures they must learn. Teaching Anatomy in various modalities has been a topic of discussion since very long period. Dissection has been the main focus in the anatomy curriculum requiring a constant flow of cadavers to be available to various courses. Since body donation is not uniform, the lack of cadavers for the dissection in many institutions is making anatomists rely on plastination.

Method: Plastination is a method where once dissected specimen can be preserved in a plastic form which will be dry, odorless, life-like, non-hazardous, maintenance free and do not deteriorate with time and even can be re-dissected if required. This technique consists of four main important steps, 1. Fixation, 2. Dehydration, 3. Forced impregnation and 4.Hardening. Fixation can be done by almost all conventional fixatives. Dehydration is achieved mainly by acetone because acetone also serves as the intermediary solvent during impregnation. Forced impregnation is the central step in plastination: vacuum forces the acetone out of and the polymer into the specimen. Finally the impregnated specimen is hardened by exposing it to a gaseous hardener.There are currently three methods of plastination which are followed frequently such as, whole organ plastination, sheet plastination and luminal cast plastination.

Results: We conducted a study to evaluate the use of plastinates for teaching anatomy in the perspective of teachers and students. The observations and results of our study had shown that with the help of these plastinated specimens, the anatomy of every organ can be well shown and easily understood. The observations and results of our study will be reviewed in detail along with problems faced by medical colleges. Problem based learning is becoming an important tool in medical education. Plastination technique applied to, normal and abnormal structures of the system can be well-reviewed. making it an excellent technique in medical institutes for better understanding of anatomy.

Does sucrose prevent shrinkage in silicone brain plastination? Parsai, Shireen and Baptista, Carlos A.C.
University of Toledo, College of Medicine, Department of Neurosciences, Toledo, Ohio, USA

Sucrose has been advocated for use in plastination of brain tissue. Several researchers utilize sucrose in many different concentrations as a means of protection of the brain tissue against cold silicone impregnation. The purpose of this study was to determine whether sucrose treatment is an effective means of preventing shrinkage in the silicone plastination technique of brain tissue. Additionally, in order to design methods to decrease shrinkage the following questions were tested: (1) Which plastination step results in the greatest shrinkage? (2) Does impregnation length contribute to shrinkage.

Methods: Four brain samples were used to create 48 specimens. These were first divided into four groups according to concentration of sucrose: control, 4%, 6%, and 10%. Then each group was further divided according to impregnation length: 3 weeks, 4 weeks, and 5 weeks. The surface area of each specimen was measured after each step of plastination using image analysis software.

Results: Statistical analysis was conducted to determine correlation between fixation time, concentration of sucrose, impregnation length, plastination step, and shrinkage of tissue. No statistical significance was found among the variables. It was found that the impregnation step resulted in the greatest shrinkage. The specimen treated with 6% sucrose with an impregnation length of 5 weeks resulted in the least shrinkage during the dehydration and impregnation steps. However, the specimen treated with 10% sucrose with an impregnation length of 5 weeks resulted in the least shrinkage during the curing step. This data represents preliminary results.

Conclusion: The interpretation of our experiment results was challenging due to the large number of variables tested. Because the results were deemed inconclusive regarding the effect of sucrose in the shrinkage of the brain tissue, an experiment with more controlled variables is being performed.


 Improved science education with exhibition of plastinated specimens for teachers and students of public high schools of Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Pereira-Sampaio, Marco A1*; Chagas, Maurício A1; Holanda, Eloísa CO1; Bastos, Ana L1, Babinski, Márcio A1; Henry, Robert W2.1Department of Morphology, Fluminense Federal University, Niterói, RJ, Brazil and 2Department of Comparative Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA.

Test scores of the 2007 ENEM (Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio, the exam necessary to select students entering Brazilian universities) of students of public high school were significantly lower than those scores of students of private high school of Niterói, Rio de Janeiro. A  difference of 17.27 points between scores of students from private and public schools shows that public high schools of Niteroi requires focal  attention. Plastinated specimens were used as an exhibition to enhance science exposure to students of public high schools and  training.  The teachers could increase learning and therefore increase performance of students of public high schools. The aim of this work was to improve the science education in Niterói public high schools.

Methods: All plastinated specimens used in the exhibitions were produced in the Plastination Laboratory of the Department of Comparative Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA. The exhibitions took place on Saturdays in the Anatomy Laboratory of the Department of Morphology of Fluminense Federal University. Teachers of public high schools attended training for teaching anatomy and physiology, used plastinated animal specimens. Students participated in demonstrations by their teachers, where topics of anatomy and physiology were addressed. Both teachers and students had the opportunity to handle the plastinated specimens during the exhibits.

Results: Teachers of the public high schools of Niterói, at the end of the exhibits, reported that the training activities were helpful and they would participate in other training. After the first year of exhibitions (2007), the ENEM results of Niterói public high school students improved from 32.18/100 (2007) to 46.08/100 (2008) and 49.20/100 (2009) This significant improvement suggests that the exhibitions did not only increase learning in science but also motivated the students in other subjects. When compared with the results of private school students, the difference decreased significantly after two years of exhibition from 17.27 to 9.28 points.

Conclusion: Using plastinated specimens as an aid to improve science teaching is a good tool to motivate students and professors to improve learning. Grant Sponsor: Foundation for Research Support of Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ), Brazil.


Volume changes in brain specimens with altered approaches to S10 plastination. Pizzimenti, Marc Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, 52240

Volumetric changes in tissue during the plastination process are common and almost inevitable. However, the degree to which specimens will experience volumetric decreases through plastination has not been quantitatively assessed for intact brain specimens. If brain specimens are to serve educational purposes, they must reflect appropriate size and morphologic relationships after the plastination process.

Methods: Sixteen human brain specimens were used to investigate how alterations in the plastination process affect specimen volume. The brains were divided into hemispheres and assigned to one of four experimental conditions: standard room temperature (SRT); standard cold temperature (SCT); short standard cold temperature (SSCT); and SSCT with xylene (SSCTX).  Standard protocols were followed for each of the experimental conditions, however in the SSCTX) conditions, the impregnation time was reduced to only 36 hours. Also, in the SSCTX condition, 200 mL of xylene was added to the polymer bath. Volume and mass measures were made at specific stages during the plastination process. Volumetric changes were determined through water displacement.

Results: Specimens underwent a decrease in volume that varied with the experimental condition. At the dehydration phase of the process, SRT specimens were affected most and measured 88.2% (±4.7) of their original volume. Specimens in the SSCTX conditions demonstrated the lowest decrease in volumetric change (98.2% ±5.0).  Volumetric decreases were also observed in the STR (78.1% ±3.7) and SSCT (95.0% ±4.2) conditions. The major decrease in specimen volume occurred during the impregnation process. SRT specimens demonstrated the largest overall change, measuring only 43.3% (±6.7) of the original volume. Specimens in the SSCTX condition also demonstrated a large change in volume, but on average measured 47.4% (±1.3) of the original volume. Mass of the specimens were generally correlated with volume measures for each experimental condition. Specimen density prior to the dehydration process (e.g., SCT 1.06 g/mL (±0.01)) decreased through the dehydration process (0.91 g/mL (±0.03)). There was, however, no overall difference in specimen density once the specimens were cured.

Conclusions: The primary stage in which major volumetric changes in brain tissue occurs is during polymer impregnation. Cold temperature methods tend to minimize brain tissue volume loss, particularly if an additional intermediary solvent (e.g., xylene) is added to the polymer bath. However, additional methods for the S10 process must be determined to minimize volume loss in brain tissue.


Plastination and embedding technology used in teaching and researching on meridian human anatomy. Qixiao, Ye1;Chengjie Yang 2; Jianhua Zhang1; Hui Wang4; Yang Zhou 3; Xiaoxu Liu 1 Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine; 2Qingdao Keyi Biological Technology Company; 3Shanghai Putuo Medical school;. 4Shanghai Public Safety Department.

The research on Meridian Acupoints of Human Anatomy has been frontiers in the modern Chinese Medicine explorations. Since 2007, with the cooperation between Shanghai University of TCM and Qingdao Keyi Biological Technology Company, plastination technology and embedding technology have been applied in teaching and researching on structures of meridians and acupoints, which aroused great attentions of academic fields. This research will introduce the applications of plastic and embedding technologies used in meridians and acupoints’ specimens of human anatomy Plastination technology used in Acupoints’specimens.

Methods: We have chosen five normal female corpses whose properties accord with the average standard of yellow races in Asia. According to the requirements of teaching and researching, we divided human anatomic structures into the following four levels: skin, superficial fascia, superficial and deep muscle-vascular-nerve layers, and used four corpses to exhibit each level of human anatomy structures. Another corpse was used to review the dangerous acupoints which are closely connected with the body organs. Generally, the processes of making specimens could be divided into five steps: dehydration; skim by pure acetone; vacuum infiltration; stereotype and gas hardening. On this basis, we inserted needles into those acupoints’ structures following the principles made by authorities, and differentiated meridians with different colors in the body and different names marked on the needles. One of the unique designs of these specimens was  their gestures of playing Taiji, which manifests the vitality and aesthetic properties; another is that all specimens were exhibited in a three-dimensional way which successfully shows every details of the anatomy structure. Embedding technology used in horizontal needling slices of human acupoints: The material of slices was normal adult male. According to the horizontal sections of the acupoints, we selected 159 slices (each one of them is less than 2mm) from the corpse which could reflect specific structures of 830 acupoints. The processes includes: bleaching tissues by H2O2, dehydration, skim by pure Acetone; vacuum infiltration; determine points and inserting needles; then fixed with glasses, embedded with ester resin and finally shaped into slices with heat. After these processes, the thickness of slice could be limited in 3.7mm. This series of slices are transparent, bright and explicit. In this case, we were supposed to connect these slices with intelligent retrieval system, in order to realize the communication between students and machine, to emphasis anatomic structures of acupoints and to strengthen the ability of identifying requested acupoints in clinical trials.

Conclusions: As the first two cases around the world, the creation of these two specimens will take great influence on medication, teaching and researching fields, especially in meridian and acupoints of human anatomy. * supported by Shanghai China Municipal People’s Government Education Funds **supported by Shanghai Municipal Education Commission Specific Discipline Construction Funds


Intermediate solvents rectification unit in plastination laboratory. Starchik, Dmitry* and Kucher Fedor International Morphological Centre, Saint-Petersburg, Russia

Acetone and other solvents rectification from water and fats for their recycling is one of the important tasks in plastination. Rectification unit must have a big productivity but small size, provide high degree purification of dehydration and degreasing agents and have easy control. It should also meet explosion safety and reliability requirements.

Methods: We have designed a laboratory unit for rectification of intermediate solvents polluted by dehydration and degreasing of anatomical specimens. The unit consists of 4 parts: vaporizing tank, rectification column, reflux condenser and an electronic block. Vaporizing tank consists of external and internal containers, placed one inside another, each with capacity of about 100 liters. The external container has three heating elements and a heat sensor. The internal container is designed for evaporation of solvents and has filling and draw-off taps, a temperature sensor and a thin metal tube for pumping air. The rectification column is 100 mm in diameter and 1950 mm high and is attached to the top aperture of the internal container. The column consists of two segments that have special spiral wire elements inside. The top segment is equipped with two temperature sensors. Reflux condenser is installed on the top of rectification column and has an adjusting valve and cooled by water. Electronic block provides power for heating elements, controls process of rectification and prevents the unit from overheating. Before starting the external container is filled with heat-resistant oil and the internal tank is filled with polluted solvent. Distillation is carried out in a semiautomatic mode. The rectification degree of solvents is adjusted by the valve of the reflux condenser. The volume of rectified solvent and its water content are measured every ten minutes.

Results: During the trial period the unit was used to rectify single-component and multicomponent mixtures, containing acetone, ethanol, methylene-chloride and isopropyl alcohol. For single-component mixture the highest efficiency was registered when rectifying methylene-chloride (44 liter/hour) and the lowest one with ethanol (18 liter/hour). Separation of multicomponent mixes is also possible with strict temperature control. It is possible to adjust water percentage in distilled solvent and get its minimal level by decreasing productive rate of solvent, controlling a difference of temperatures between top and middle parts of the rectification column.

Conclusion: The experiments have proved that the productivity of the unit depends on physical and chemical properties of the intermediate solvent and its water content. Getting minimal water percentage solvent requires maximum time. Using spiral wire elements inside the rectification column helps to halve the unit height and makes it possible to install that in labs with floor-to-ceiling height up to 3 meter.


Plastinated Minke whale with silicone technique by DalianHoffen. Sui, Hongjin1,21 Departmentof Anatomy, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, China; 2Dalian Hoffen Bio-technique Co., Ltd. No.36, Guangyuan Street, Lushunkou Economic Development Zone, Dalian, China

A 6.2m minke whale preserved by Dalian Hoffen through silicone plastination technique, is the largest plastinated specimen currently in the world. This specimen shows its skin, muscles, nerves, vessels, and organs.

Methods: The plastinated process of the minke whale was as follows: A male minke whale stranded and died in the Dalian Wafangdian sea in February, 2009. The local fishermen found it. After verified by fishery sector, Dalian Hoffen was entrusted to preserve it through plastination technique. After injected 1 ton of 10% formalin, perfused 50,000 ml dye and immersed in 10% formalin purpose-made bath for 8 months, the specimen was dissected to display muscles, nerves, vessels and organs, and then bleached using 5% H2O2 until it got uniform color. The process of dissection and bleaching took 2 months. Due to the large size of the minke whale plastination was performed by cutting it  into 4 parts. Meanwhile, the particular baths and cantilever cranes were specially designed and used for its dehydration and forced impregnation. The 4 parts were precooled in 5ºC freezer, then dehydrated in cold acetone baths for 4 months, after that were degreased in acetone baths at room temperature for 4 months, then impregnated in cold vacuum bath for 2 months. After forced impregnation, the minke whale’s 4 parts were reassembled through a reinforced steel framework fitted into its body. The whale was positioned into a diving posture. The process of modeling and anatomically repairing took 2 months. After modeling and repairing, the specimen was carried out for curing with gas and heat for 1 month.

Results: The process of the minke whale plastination took 23 months. The flexibility of its skin, muscles, nerves, vessels, and organs tissues after plastination were easily discriminated. And the minke whale specimen with vividly diving posture clearly showed its dorsal and ventral structures.

Conclusion: Dalian Hoffen preserved a dry, odorless, resilient, and durable minke whale specimen used for not only science popularization but also anatomical learning.


Generating 3D computer models for educational delivery through personal mobile computer devices:  an example using a plastinated heart.

Tunali, Selcuk1,2*, Farrell, Michael1, Labrash, Steven1, Lozanoff, Beth1, Lozanoff, Scott1 1Department of Anatomy, Biochemistry & Physiology, University of Hawaii School of Medicine, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA. 2Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Anatomy 06100  Sihhiye, Ankara, Turkey.

Computer-aided delivery of anatomical course content is becoming increasingly popular since instructional information can be tailored to specific learning objectives. With increasing availability of mobile computer devices such as iPads and iPhones, learning opportunities have become individualized and instantaneous for students. As well, sophisticated 3D images can be delivered within virtual learning environment facilitating understanding of complex spatial relationships. Design of anatomical course content deliverable through personal computer devices remains problematic when representative models do not exist. A potential solution for this issue is to utilize plastinated anatomical material enabling an instructor to generate anatomical models tailored for specific pedagogical objectives deliverable through personal mobile computer devices. The purpose of this study was to develop a method to generate computerized 3D anatomical models from plastinated material for use in electronic media.

Methods: A formalin-fixed cadaveric adult human heart was dissected free and injected with inr-seal (Dodge) so that the cavities remained expanded. The specimen was subsequently dehydrated in an acetone bath of increasing concentrations (90%-99.5%) for six weeks followed by degreasing for 2 weeks. Forced impregnation was accomplished with PR10 polymer and Cr20 cross-linker (4 days) and cured by applying sequential coats of Ct32 cross-linker. The resulting plastinated heart was digitized using a hand-held scanner (Polhemus), exported and edited in Maya (AutoDesk) and WinSURF (Akuaware), and finally saved in xdf format. Audio files (.wav) were recorded based on the individual cardiac components. The model was incorporated into an electronic dissection guide (.pdf) and viewed with SURFviewer (

Results: Using the PDF file, students could call the heart model as they worked through electronic dissection guide. The model can be viewed and interactively manipulated on a standard Dell computer stationed at each dissection table as well as personal mobile devices including an iPhone and iPad. Conclusion: Results from this study demonstrate how plastinated specimens can be generated and tailored for electronic dissections guides.

Online ISSN: 2311-777X
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