The Journal of Plastination

Abstracts presented at The 13th International Conference on Plastination - Vienna, Austria, July 2 to 7, 2006


Published in the J. Int. Soc. Plast.21:21-38 (2006)

Oral Presentations

History of plastination.

von Hagens G. Institut  for Plastination, Heidelberg, Germany, Europe.

Plastination, a vacuum-forced impregnation technique with  reactive polymers  for  biological  specimens,  was invented by the author at Heidelberg University in 1977. But plastination technology only gained wide acceptance after further progressive developments which included:

  • The technique of gas curing for silicone impregnated plastinates .
  • The creation of polymerizing emulsions for hard and opaque
  • Sheet plastination resulting in transparent body slices, patented in 1982.
  • Sheet plastination of brain slices.
  • Blood removal by plain water of thoracis-abdominal en bloc specimens.

The 1st International Congress of Plastination was organized by Harmon Bickley in 1982 at The University of Texas in San Antonio, Texas, USA. Martin Lischka, at the Anatomical Institute of the University in Vienna, Austria was an early exponent of plastination and the first to implement it outside of Heidelberg in 1977. The International Society for Plastination was founded in l 986 and  the inaugural issue of Journal of the International Society of Plastination was published in 1987. In 1990, the process extended the frontier of biological specimen preservation with the plastination of a whole human body. The first public exhibition of whole human body plastinates and the juxtaposition of healthy and diseased organs was shown in Tokyo, Japan in 1995. Currently, plastination is performed in over 40 countries at 400 institutes of Anatomy, Pathology, Biology and Zoology. Since 2003, public exhibitions of human plastinates have been presented worldwide, and several entities have emerged to provide polymers ·and equipment for plastination.

Preservation  and  plastination.

Weiglein AH.  Institute of Anatomy, Medical University Graz, Graz, Austria, Europe .

For over 3,000 years, efforts have been made to stop postmortem decay and to keep the human body intact to preserve the mortal frame for coming back to life sometime later  (e.g.,  ancient  Egyptian  mummification in 1550 BC and cryopreservation in the 20th century). Interest in morphology made it necessary to preserve human  tissue  to  investigate its anatomy. The most important step in preservation was the introduction of formalin by Blum in 1896, which was followed by the colour preserving embalming solutions of Kaiserling (1900) and Jores (1930). In 1992, Thiel published an article on a new method of colour preservation and, based on this technique , produced the  Photographic Atlas of Practical Anatomy. Besides the development of embalming  solutions, which  allow for the preservation of lifelike colour  and flexibility  for  student  dissection and the teaching of surgical techniques, other methods were developed for the demonstration  of  human anatomy in museum specimens. For this later purpose, paraffin impregnation was introduced by Hochstetter in 1925. Embedding of organic tissue in plastic was introduced in the 1960s. In 1977, Gunther von Hagens invented plastination. This technique utilizes both impregnation and embedding in which water and lipids of biological tissues are  replaced by curable polymers (silicone, epoxy or polyester) . These polymers are subsequently hardened , resulting in dry, odourless and durable organ specimens or body slices. Thus, this method is excellent for the production of museum specimens to teach human gross anatomy. Furthermore, sheet plastination provides an excellent tool for use in sectional anatomy and for research.  Plastinated specimens are perfect for teaching because they show the real specimen, they are easy to handle, almost everlasting and need a minimum of maintenance.

Principles  of  silicone   plastination   techniques.

de Jong KH.  Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands , Europe.

Plastination is defined as the replacement of tissue water and fat with a curable polymer, either silicone, polyester or epoxy. As these polymers are not soluble in water, tissue water has to be replaced with a volatile intermediate solvent, which is subsequently  replaced with the polymer of choice. Replacement of water with the intermediate solvent (dehydration), preferably done with acetone, is performed by placing the specimen in subsequent baths of  100% acetone until  a dehydration of >98.5% is obtained . To prevent excessive shrinkage dehydration is performed between -15°C and -20°C (freeze substitution). During dehydration, due to the physical properties of acetone, a certain degree of defatting of the tissue is obtained. Before starting the impregnation the silicone S10 is mixed with the chain extender/catalyst S3 in a 100/1 ratio pbv.  Chain extension is delayed in the cold; the S1O/S3 mixture is stored in a deep freezer. When dehydration is completed, the specimen is submerged in the S 1O/S3 mixture and placed in a vacuum chamber. By applying increasing vacuum (decreasing pressure) the acetone is extracted from the specimen and replaced with silicone (forced impregnation). When all acetone is extracted and impregnation is considered to be complete the specimen is removed from the S10/ S3 mixture and left to drain. If performed at room temperature the silicone chains will start to elongate due to the presence of the S3 in the mixture (pre-curing). When the specimen is successfully drained the final polymerisation can be performed (curing) . Therefore the specimen is placed in an air-tight closed container in which a vaporised cross­ linker (S6) is added. The gaseous cross-linker will diffuse into the specimen and cause a cross-linking of the  elongating  silicone  chains,  thus hardening the specimen  from the  surface to the  depth.   During the beginning of the curing process the surface of the specimen has to be manicured carefully to avoid the development of dimples of silicone oozing out of the specimen. After the curing the specimen is placed in a well ventilated place to let the excess of S6 evaporate from the specimen. In this presentation also the basic equipment for silicone plastination will be shown.

Results of silicone polymer impregnation with no additives.

Henry  RW , RB  Reetf , R  Latorre 2H Smodlaka11Department   of  Comparative  Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA, 2Anatomia y Embriologia , Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Murcia, Campus de Espinardo, Murcia, Espana , Europe, 3College of Veterinary Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA, USA.

Hair covered domestic and exotic animal specimens were impregnated using a silicone impregnation/ reaction-mixture which contained no additives. This rational was used to impregnate hairy specimens which results in: Preservation in a shortened period of time and Polymer which drains quicker from the hair with virtually little to no wiping of polymer from the surface. Low viscosity (40 - 80 centistokes) polymer at room temperature decreases the impregnation time and yields a shortened draining and manicuring time with less labor involved . A philosophy of not curing these specimens has evolved. These noncured specimens seem more life-like and curing is a bit sporadic. For five years, two curing regimens were used to cure the specimens: 1. Specimens are exposed to the vaporized cross linker (S6) for 2 - 4 days then S3 (catalyst/chain extender) is wiped onto the surface of the specimen twice at 24 hour intervals. 2. Specimens are exposed to the vapor of a new Supercatalyst for 2 days then are exposed to a volatilized chain extender (S7) and finally to a cross-linker (S6). Both of these methods result in polymerization and specimen quality seems similar to specimens produced by the classic von Hagen's method. However, a small percent of these specimens may remain partially uncured and a small percent become very hard. Currently, the two biggest advantages of using no additives to the impregnation bath are: 1. Polymer runs freely off of hair-covered specimens eliminating the tedious task of manicuring due to thickened silicone when the cold process is used. 2. Impregnation is carried out at room temperature.

Comparison of plastinated specimens  prepared using  six  regimens.

H Smodlaka,1 RB  Reed2, R Latorre1, O Lopez-Albor1, JM Hervas4, R Cuellar4, RW Henry 2, 1College of Veterinary Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA, USA; 2Department of Comparative Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA, 3Anatomia y Embriologia , Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Murcia, Campus de Espinardo, Murcia, Espana, Europe, 4Departmento Anatomia Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional de Aguas Calientes, Mexico.

To assess quality of surface detail of silicone impregnated  specimens and  increase our specimen inventory, numerous specimens were prepared using six current methods of silicone plastination. These included the classic von Hagens' (S 10, German, Biodur™) cold method and five modifications of this method: Chinese, Corcoran, VisDocta™, North Carolina A and B. All of these methodologies use polymer, catalyst, chain extender, and cross-linker which are commonly used in today's silicone polymer industry. Cold acetone was used on most specimens; however, room temperature acetone was used on some specimens. The classic impregnation process, using decreasing pressure , was utilized in each process for the exchange of the intermediary solvent (acetone) for the polymer. The difference in these techniques was primarily the number of reactants and how they were combined and utilized in the plastination process. Specimens produced by the classic S 10 method (using an impregnation reaction­ mixture of polymer, catalyst and chain extender, with later cross-linking) and similar copies of this process (VisDocta™, North Carolina A) routinely yielded exquisite surface detail of the specimen. Combining the cross-linker and polymer as the impregnation reaction­ mixture with later catalyst application (Corcoran) produced specimens with a granular semitranslucent surface. The impregnation-bath consisting of polymer alone (China, NC B) yielded good surface detail but occasionally yielded specimens with small, dry semitranslucent areas on the surface if catalyst and/or cross-linker were added. However, all specimens produced by all methods were deemed useful.

Plastinated head as a guide for computed tomography diagnosis in goat.  

Basset A1AE Merval, MH Konsowa 1, HM Imam21Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Egypt, 2Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Suez Canal University, Egypt.

The present work investigated the relationship between plastinated cross sections and CT images of Goat heads. It was carried out on five adult apparently healthy Goats of both sexes. Three of them were used for CT Scans. Each animal was anaesthetized, placed in a prone position (with the head extended and held in place with the help of a cushion) for conducting transverse axial computed tomography (soft tissue window) using 1.5 Tesla, Philips Gyro-scan Sl5  system (Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University) . Transverse axial CT images were taken with 10-15 mm intervals; at 120 Kv, 200 MAs, F 3HF/S and W 200+64 ; from the level of the nostrils up to the level of the eyes. The other two goats were transported to the Zagazig Plastination Laboratory. They were euthanized and perfused with formalin 10% via the common carotid artery and left for one week to complete the fixation. The fixed heads were frozen and cut by a hand saw into serial cross sections, about three centimeters in thickness. The sections were plastinated by the Silicone 10 technique at Zagazig Plastination Laboratory. The obtained results revealed that: both the plastinated cross sections and the electronic CT images portrayed a combination of soft tissues, cartilages, bones, and nasal air passages that provided a good anatomical view and good diagnosis of the pathological and malformations of Goat nasal cavity. In our study, we used plastinated cross sections as an aid for interpretation of CT images.

Room-temperature impregnation with  Biodur 810/SJ: Towards a quantitative evaluation.

Adds PJ. St George 's, University of London, London, United Kingdom.

Room-temperature silicone plastination has the twin advantages of reduced cost and simplicity of set-up. At its best it can yield specimens which are the equal of those produced by low-temperature impregnation . However, problems encountered include increased shrinkage of the specimen, as well as gradually increasing viscosity of the S10/S3 (polymer/ catalyst/chain extender) mixture (reaction-mixture) . The shortened life of the polymer leads inevitably to wasted silicone and, therefore , increased costs. By comparing the viscosity of room-temperature and low-temperature reaction-mixtures , this study aims to quantify the hidden extra costs of consumables resulting from the use of a room-temperature impregnation set-up. Over a period of six months the viscosity of successive mixes of Biodur S10/S3 were recorded both at -30°C and at room  temperature   in  the  laboratory .   The  ambient maximum and minimum laboratory temperatures were also recorded . Specimens plastinated during the test period were monitored closely for quality. The subjective cut-off point when the polymer was thought to have become too viscous for use was recorded . By comparison with the cold-temperature polymer, the shortened life of the room temperature mixture can be quantified . From this the added overhead costs of consumables can be calculated . Results show that the room temperature mixture has a significantly shorter usable life when compared to -20°C. The polymer becomes so viscous that specimen quality is adversely affected. Ultimately, the polymer becomes unusable. Room-temperature impregnation appears to be an attractive option for reasons of speed and set-up costs, and this is the method currently employed at St. George's in London. The best specimens produced early in the cycle are of comparable quality to those produced by low-temperature impregnation. However, there are significant cost implications in opting for a room-temperature procedure . The shortened shelf-life of the Sl0/S3 and Sl5/S3 mixtures results in added polymer usage and therefore increased production costs.

Using acrylic paints on neurovascular pathways to enhance the educational value of plastinated specimens.

Raoof A, K Falk, A Marchese, L Marchese, N Mirafzali. Division of Anatomical Sciences, Office of Medical Education, The University of Michigan Medical School, 3808 Med. Sci. II Bldg., Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

In attempts to enhance anatomy education through plastination , a section of the research has been devoted to painting the finished neurovascular pathways. The introduction of coloring to plastination has proven to be a useful practice in improving the study of anatomy. When painting specimens, blood vessels and nerves are color coded to provide better visual models for students from which to learn. This way, not only can students view and handle three-dimensional specimens, but also they will be able to better distinguish specific anatomical patterns . It was with this new educational device that excessive handling became an issue and the paints  often  became  chipped  or damaged.  This  has become the focus of our research to determine a more durable painting method so students can benefit from an ideal specimen without fear of damaging its quality. Specimens plastinated using the room  temperature method and colored with conventional application of acrylic paints showed a significant deterioration of paint following continued handling over time . Originally, Tamiya® Acrylic paints had been used to color the specimen with a simple brush application . This method did not yield permanent coloration  since the paints did not adhere firmly to the silicone  surface  of  the specimen . The paint chipped and flaked only after moderate handling and manipulation of  the  painted areas. Similar results were demonstrated with models students used during a lab practical exam at the University of Michigan  Medical  School.  Students studied specimens colored with Tamiya® Acrylics that had been painted the previous year and again an hour prior to an exam after which many noted the paint came off on their gloves. After testing different  paints, solvents, and base coats, we found that the acrylic paint applied to the specimen prior to catalyst application and with ethyl silicate (Silbond-40®) coated on top of the paint, the new application provided a strong and durable paint that withstood experimental  vigorous  handling. We conclude that the aesthetic  and  hopefully educational value of specimens could be augmented by this method of acrylic paint application. The method we applied is relatively easy to follow and uses affordable materials . We are working on a pilot study  using medical students to test the durability of these new coloring methods versus the old coloring methods.

Modified plastination technique for viewing deeper structures and their interrelationships in situ.

Kumar R, V Tarnikanti, R Dhingra. Department of Anatomy, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India .

Traditional anatomy teaching needs a lot of effort and imagination on the part of the teacher and those being taught. Classical anatomical teaching aids require diagrams, charts, models, cadaver specimens and dissection for the comprehensive knowledge of  the human body. With the advent of computer generated diagrams and charts, this problem has been partly overcome . With an increase in the number of medical institutions, there is always a shortage of human specimens and cadavers. Therefore, plastination  of human specimens is gradually becoming an invaluable teaching resource in Anatomy. Although  plastinated, specimens are dry & non toxic, they cannot be manipulated and the deeper structures cannot be viewed as may  be  done with  formalin-fixed  specimens. In the present study, we have utilized a simple method, which after plastination , the superficial structures may  be easily retracted , to view the deeper ones and their inter relationships can also be easily appreciated . For this we chose the  popliteal fossa. The popliteal fossa was formalin fixed and separated from thigh and leg. The fossa was carefully dissected to  define  its  boundaries and contents. The specimen was dehydrated using cold acetone . Forced impregnation was done by Silicone S10 and S3 mixture at -20°C. Then the specimen was kept at room temperature for a week to drain the excess polymer. At this stage small sheets of aluminum foil were inserted between  various muscles forming the boundaries of popliteal fossa. Along  with  aluminum foil the popliteal fossa specimen was  subjected  to curing for seven days. After curing, the aluminum foil was removed . After removing the aluminum foil, the superficial structures, i .e. heads of gastrocnemius muscles  could  be  easily separated  from deeper muscle i.e. soleus. Similarly the semimembranosus and semi­ tendon could be easily separated . The popliteal artery could be easily separated from popliteal vein and the tibial nerve . The inter relationship of the muscles, popliteal vessels and tibial nerve was maintained in situ even after removal of the aluminum foil between them after plastination . Thus the limitation of manipulation of plastinated specimens has  been partially  overcome  by the above procedure which also maintains the inter relationship of the structures.

Effect of stepwise dehydration by acetone and temperature on plastinated brain  section  length following Mulligan staining.

Asadi MH, A Azami, F Mohammadzadeh, F AbouAli, Z Zare,  M Jalali­ Monfared, Y Yousofi. Department of anatomy, Bighlatollah University Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Mulligan-stained brain sections have been used in teaching neuroanatomy for a long time . Plastinated preparations have proven to be  an additional  valuable tool due to the ease of handling and durability compared to that of wet specimens. In this paper, we discussed the effect of dehydration by acetone and temperature on the length of plastinated brain sections. Cow brains were used for this study. After fixation, four brains  labelled A, B, C and D, were  prepared. Each brain was cut in two similar median sagittal sections.  The  cerebellum and pons were separated by a section between the pons and midbrain . After that, each sagittal section was sliced in seven parasagittal sections ( 10.0 mm) . Maximum length of each section was measured in millimeters through three  phases (fixation, dehydration and curing). We defined "difference of reduction" as the percentage  of difference of length between the first and second phase. Staining was performed according to Tompsett's modified Mulligan-staining procedure. After dehydration in: Pure acetone (A @ -20°C and  C  @ room temperature)  and 80% acetone (B @ -20°C and D @ room temperature) with the final bath of 99% acetone, these specimens were then impregnated in a vacuum chamber at -20°C using Biodur S10 silicone mixed with Biodur S3 catalyst and chain extender. Finally, the slices were cured by exposure to S6 vapor at room temperature. Difference of reduction between group A and C was -4.30 with 95% Confidence Interval from -7.67 to -0.98mm. This indicates that the shrinkage in group C was 4.3% more than group A. The difference of reduction between  group A and D was -6.35 with 95% confidence interval from -9.66 to -3.04 mm, which indicates the shrinkage in group D is 6.35% more than group A. Since dehydration temperature in both groups (C and D) was at room temperature, it is concluded that the temperature is the main factor of the shrinkage at the dehydration stage.

Microscopic  morphological  investigation  of deplastinated pig kidney sections.

Ilieski V1 L Pendovski1, T Ristoski2. 1Department of Functional Morphology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Skopje, Macedonia, 2Department of Pathology, Faculty of VeterinaryMedicine, Skopje, Macedonia.

Plastination is a method for preservation of biological specimens which allows the specimen to retain its original shape. Microscopic changes which might occur during preservation by plastination have been a subject of interest in years past. Several publications were found where different methods of deplastination were used . Findings show that plastinated specimens maintain their histological structure and that deplastination affects the morphology in different ways. The aim of this study was to determine level of morphological change during preservation with plastination of the kidney structure and to describe the most suitable protocol for deplastination. In this sdy, we used pig kidneys plastinated via the standard S10 procedure three years prior. The plastinated pig kidney was transversally cut into (0.5cm - 1.0 cm - 0.5cm) thick specimens and divided in five groups. For deplastination, absolute alcohol (99%) and toluol solution were used. The first group of specimens were immersed in alcohol for 24 hours, the second was in 48 hours, the third in 72 hours, the forth was immersed for 90 hours and the last group of specimens were immersed for more then 200 hours in alcohol. After that, the slices were transferred in toluol, using the same protocol. The last phase for all specimens was immersion  into  10% formalin. At the  end, the tissue specimens were embedded in paraffin using standard protocol. For examination by light microscopy, paraffin sections were cut in 5 to 10 µm slices and stained with haematoxylin and eosin. The specimens were imaged using Lucia G software. On the specimens immersed in toluol, resin was noticed, which had arisen from the surface of the slices in thin transparent particles.  The quantity of particles depended on the protocol used for deplastination . Histological  section showed clear distinction between cortex and medulla. On higher magnification, lesions were found on the renal tubules with unclear borders between epithelial cells. On some sections the tubules were disrupted and on other tortuous tubules were observed . Occlusion with cell debris was also identified inside the collecting tubules. The main changes were located in the medulla whereas the cortex was less damaged. Bowman's space, of some renal corpuscles was enlarged with noticeable capillary shrinkage . Our results show that duration of tissue immersion in toluol  has important impact for deplastination. Based on histological findings, the best procedure for deplastination of kidney sections was protocol, which immersed specimens 48 hours in alcohol and afterwards ninety hours in toluol. These specimens can be used for optical microscopic studies. The morphology is well preserved and comparable with normal histological structure of kidney. However, structural changes were found and mostly were located in medulla of kidney.

Principles  of  epoxy  (E12)  plastination  technique.

Sora M-C. Plastination Laboratory, Anatomical Institute, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria , Europe.

The El2 plastination process is a well-established preservation technique used for  demonstration  in teaching and also in research. Material and Methods: Material and Slicing: For El2  plastination,  usually fresh tissue used and frozen at -80°C for one week. In the next step slices with an average thickness between 3 and 5mm are cut. Between the sections, 1 mm of tissue is lost due to the thickness of the saw blade. The slices were stored at -25°C overnight. Dehydration and Degreasing: The acetone used for dehydration is cooled to -25°C. For dehydration of slices, technical quality acetone is used . Each slice is placed between  soft plastic grids in order to allow better circulation of the dehydration fluid. The dehydration time for the slices is seven days; the acetone was changed once  after three days at a concentration of 96% (bath 1), by using technical quality acetone. The final concentration of the dehydration  bath was  99% (bath 2). When dehydration is complete, the freezer is    disconnected.  The temperature increases and after one day  room temperature (15°C) is reached . Now the acetone is changed with room temperature methylene-chloride (MeCl) for degreasing. Degreasing is  finished  after seven days. Impregnation: Impregnation is performed at 5°C  using  the following epoxy (El2) mixture : E 12/E 1/AE10 (95:26 :10 pbw).  The  slices  are submerged in the El2-mixture and placed in a vacuum chamber, directly out of the methylene chloride bath. Pressure is continuously reduced over the next two days down to 2.0mm Hg. Temperature is kept under surveillance in order to avoid E 12 crystal formation which would take place if temperature decreases under 0°C. Casting and Curing: The slices are cast between two sheets of tempered glass and a flexible gasket is used as a spacer (4mm).  The  following  E12-mixture was used for casting: E12/El/AT30  (95:26:5).  The slices are placed between glass plates, sealed and  the flat chambers were filled with casting  mixture.  Then they are placed for one hour in a vacuum chamber at 3mm Hg to remove small air bubbles  present  in the resin . Large bubbles are removed afterwards manually . After bubble removal , the flat chambers are placed horizontally inclined at 15° from the horizontal and left for one day. The polymer gets more viscous and sticky and after one more day the flat chambers containing the slices are placed in an oven at 45°C for four days. After the flat chambers cool to room temperature , the glass plates are removed carefully and the sheets are cut as desired. Results: The transparency and color of  the slices are perfect and shrinkage is not evident. The finished E l2 slices are semi-transparent , easy to orientate and  offer a lot of anatomical details down to the submicroscopic level. The transparent loose areolar and adipose tissues contrasted perfectly with the muscle tissues and all epithelial parenchyma. Conclusion : Since the beginning of plastination , the E 12  technique  was and still is the preferred method for producing transparent body slices. Transparent  body  or  organ slices are used for teaching and research purposes, because they allow studying the topography of all body structures in a non-collapsed  and non-dislocated  state. In addition, the specimens are useful in advanced training programs in sectional topography (resident training in CT and NMR) .

Plastination and vascular anatomy.

Latorre R1,  W Hernander2,   F   Sun3,   F   GiL1,   J  Arredondo2 ,    Martinez1, 0 Lopez-Albors1, E Abellan3E Estaca3MD  Ayala1 RW  Henry4

1Anatomia y Embriologia, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Murcia, Spain, 2Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia , Universidad del Estado de Mexico, Mexico, 3Minimally Invasive Surgery Centre, Caceres, Spain, 4Department of Comparative Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University a/ Tennessee, Knoxville , TN, USA.

Interventional radiographic  procedures  are  currently used world wide, in almost any clinical specialty, for diagnosis and treatment. In angiography, which is the fundamental technique in interventional radiology, knowledge of vascular anatomy is crucial. The effectiveness of a combined use of a vascular radio­ opaque injection and plastination  techniques was investigated in this project. The left common carotid artery of a dog cadaver was used for arterial injection of red gelatin and barium sulfate (AG 12 Biodur™) with a peristaltic pump. The body cavities and thoracic and pelvic limbs were dissected prior to plastination . The specimen was prepared and plastinated  according to the standard S10 Biodur silicone procedure (von Hagens, 1985). This specimen has been used during the Course on Basic Endoluminal and Interventional Radiology Techniques in Veterinary Medicine. The use of high resolution fluoroscopy with digital recording and digital subtraction imaging (C-arm Digital Subtraction Angiography Philips BV 300) shows  that  this plastinated specimen is a good vascular anatomy reference to be used during clinical instruction . Visualization of plastinated  specimens  before  and during a fluoroscopic examination  aids  the understanding of the organization of the arterial supply and affords a convenient, easy and accurate method for training the surgeon.

Plastinated sections for demonstration purposes of fascial layers and conduction structures  adjacent  to the carpal joint of the horse highlighting the carpal flexor retinaculum, carpi radiatum ligamentum and the accessory ligament.

Probst A, E Polsterer, C Hinterhofer, I Guarda, M-C Sora, HE Konig. Department for Pathobiology (Anatomy), University of Veterinary Medicine, Veteriniirplatz 1, A-1210 , Vienna, Austria , Europe.

The carpal flexor retinaculum has been defined as a fascial reinforcement structure in the veterinary nomenclature . A resulting inflammation and swelling leads to a compression of the structures located within the carpal canal. Decompression can be achieved by a partial surgical tenotomy of the carpal flexor retinaculum . The carpal flexor retinaculum coursing between the accessory  carpal  bone   and  the  medial located  carpal bones has not been exactly defined and described  in  the  literature .  Conflicting  reports  exist regarding the carpal check ligament and regarding the origin of the accessory ligament joining the deep digital flexor   tendon .   In   three   adult   horses,   stratigraphic preparation of the carpal region documenting every demonstrated layer has been carried out. Particular attention was given to the layer of the carpal  flexor retinaculum , the carpal check ligament and the accessory ligament. In two other horses, blood vessels were injected followed by preparation of cross-sections of the carpal region . A series of slices was plastinated using the SIO method and another series using the El2 method . The carpal flexor retinaculum of the horse is subdivided into a complex tunnel system through which run tendons, vessels and nerves separated by fascial layers. The superficial and deep flexor tendon, as well as the median artery and medial palmar nerve pass through a tube like fascial layer. Both flexor tendons share a common carpal flexor tendon sheath. The carpal check ligament is composed of several strong bundles of fibers, which run from the proximal and distal row of carpal bones to the cannon bone and to the medial splint bone . The accessory ligament originates from the middle part of the carpal check ligament which joins the deep flexor tendon at the proximal third of the metacarpus . Despite our intense literature search, the terms "palmar carpal annular ligament" and "carpal canal (tunnel)" are not clearly defined. The term "palmar carpal annular ligament" should include all layers of the flexor retinaculum . The "carpal canal" in the horse is made up of several individual layers, which form a well differentiated tunnel-like system. Not necessarily all anatomical structures in the area of the carpal canal might therefore be affected in the case of the carpal canal syndrome . The carpal check ligament, the accessory ligament and in addition the suspensory ligament play an important role in the suspensory function of the digit. They act as antagonists  of the suspensory  apparatus  of the coffin  bone and have  a major effect in the pathogenesis of laminitis.

Influence of solvent vaporization in plastination.

von Horst C. HC Biovision, Mainburg, Germany, Europe.

Incomplete impregnation can be a problem in plastination . Ways to improve the impregnation procedure mainly focus on prolonging the impregnation period, reducing the viscosity of the resin and using low boiling solvents. Achieving a maximum vacuum , close to Omm Hg, is considered to be another key to good impregnation results . A theoretical investigation was made on how additional factors influence the vaporization of solvents at the relative depth  of the specimen within the polymer, referred to as the Point of Impregnation (POI). Acetone served as an example to graphically demonstrate the interactions of different factors. The main additional influences on solvent vaporization are: Resin column: The pressure on top of the POI, which results from the weight of the resin column, acts additionally to the pressure on top of the bath. Assuming a specific weight of the resin of around 0.9g/cm3, a 40cm resin column in an impregnation chamber would add about 27mm Hg to what is shown on the manometer . Temperature: At a Temperature of - 18°C the vapour pressure of acetone is about 24mm Hg. Increasing the temperature to -10°C has approximately the same effect on vaporization like a change in vacuum from 20 to 6mm Hg. Gas tight barriers: Tissues can be surprisingly tight barriers for vaporized solvents . Any pressure gradient that builds up between the inside and the outside of structures has to be added to the other influences. Considering these influences, shows that low temperatures in a deep impregnation bath can result in a complete lack of direct vaporization from the specimen. When estimating the vaporization and quality of impregnation the pressure shown on the manometer has to be put into relation to the other influences . Differences in vapour pressure and vaporization can be compensated by adapting the additional factors, e.g. temperature , depth of the impregnation bath, perforation of gas tight barriers, etc. Not only direct vaporization of acetone plays a major role in cold temperature impregnation, but also acetone diffusion through barriers and through the bath upwards until a lower pressure of the resin column allows vaporization. If diffusion of solvents alone can lead to sufficient impregnation in an acceptable amount of time, completely new impregnation  procedures  seem possible .

Theoretical considerations and preliminary studies on alcohol as an intermediary solvent.

Pereira­ Sampaio MA1, C von Horst2, BPS Marques-Sampaio1, H Smodlaka3,  L.A. Favorito4 , F.J.B. Sampaio4 , RW  Henry5                                        

1Department  of  MorphologyFluminense Federal University, Niteroi, RJ, Brazil, 2HC Biovision , Mainburg,  Germany, Europe, 3College of Veterinary Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona , CA, USA, 4 Urogenital Research Unit, State University of Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil, 5Department of Comparative Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville , TN, USA.

Alcohols have been used as a dehydration medium for nearly two centuries and have been the selected dehydrant for selected procedures during this period for biological tissue. However, the vapor pressure of alcohols (vp methanol - 97mm Hg at 20°C, 12mm at -15°C; vp ethanol - 44mm at 20°C, 4mm at -15°C; vp 2- propanol - 32mm Hg at 20°C,3mm at -15°C) is not good for silicone impregnation during plastination , especially in the cold, because they are too low. Alcohols were used on a small scale in the I980 's and 90's for specimen dehydration for plastination of primarily long­ term fixed specimens. However, before impregnation the alcohol was replaced with a solvent with a lower boiling point, methylene chloride (dichloromethane) (vp 375mm Hg at 20°C; 70mm at -I5°C) or acetone (vp I 75 mm Hg at 20°C; 28mm at -I5°C). Classic dehydration for plastination is via acetone . Using MeCl has personal considerations and acetone is often a major hurdle with institutional safety personnel. To quantify shrinkage and determine if an alcohol could be used as the intermediary solvent for impregnation , pig kidneys were collected from local slaughter houses, fixed in I 0% formalin by perfusion of the renal artery and then by submerged in I 0% formalin. The renal vessels and collecting system were filled with RTV silicone; after silicone had cured, the kidneys were sliced in I cm sections, photographed for documentation , dehydrated using a graded series (50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 95, IOO) of either ethanol, methanol or 2-propanol. The dehydrated specimens were photographed for documentation , impregnated in a cold or room temperature silicone impregnation reaction-mixture and excess polymer was drained and wiped off. Impregnated specimens were photographed , cured using S7 followed by using S6, and photographed after curing . Two dog kidneys were collected during an autopsy, fixed by immersion into 10% formalin solution, dehydration was via a graded methanol series, impregnation was at room temperature in a silicone reaction-mixture (Sl0/S3) and curing was via exposure to S6. After three weeks of cold impregnation , the vacuum kettle with the specimens were brought out to room temperature for one week to complete impregnation since vaporization of alcohol was weak and almost nonexistent in the ethanol slices. Room temperature alcohols impregnated well but at a very low pressure (1-3mm Hg) and even then it was difficult to vaporize the alcohols while of the cold temperatures , ethanol did not impregnate well.

Thin slice plastination and JD. Sora M-C, B Genser­-Strobl

Plastination Laboratory, Centre for Anatomy and Cell Biology, The Medical University of Vienna, Austria , Europe .

The E 12 method of plastination is usually used to create 2.5 to  5.0mm transparent  slices. If thinner  slices, 0.5 to l .5mm, are desired it is necessary to use the thin-slice plastination method . By using this method the specimen must be first plastinated as a block and then cut into thinner slices. The impregnation temperature is the key element to obtain a proper impregnation of the desired tissue block and contrary to all  other  plastination methods high temperature  is used. The main goal of this paper is to describe the use of high temperature for processing 1 mm epoxy plastinated slices. Only by using high temperature is the polymer thin enough to penetrate into the middle of the processed specimen. One male unfixed human cadaver ankle was used for this study. The distal third of a limb was cut and the foot positioned in 90° dorsal flexion . A tissue block containing the ankle was cut starting 40mm distal to the tip of the lateral malleolus and finishing 50mm proximal. The tissue block was dehydrated, degreased and   finally   impregnated   with    a   resin    mixture E l2/E6/E600. Using a band saw, Exact 310 CP, the E12 block was cut into 1 mm slices. Once scanned, these images of the plastinated slices were loaded into WinSURF and traced from the monitor. Once all contours were traced, the reconstruction was rendered and visualized and the model was qualitatively checked for surface discontinuities . An E I2 block was produced that was hard and transparent. Thin, < 1mm slices produced from this block were transparent and hard with good optical qualities. The finished El2 slices provided anatomic detail to the microscopic level. Thin slices < 1mm are essential if the histology is to be studied on plastinated slices or if 3D reconstruction is desired . These thin slices can only be cut from a solid E12 block. Therefore, knowledge of controlling temperature and percent of accelerator in the thin­ plastination method is essential. Histological examination can be performed up to a magnification of 40X. The major advantage of this method is that the structures remain intact and the decalcifying of bony tissue is not necessary .

Geometry of the pharynx and swallowing difficulty.

Zhang M. Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand .

Swallowing involves rapid, precise coordination of numerous muscles and tissue of the head and neck. It includes both voluntary and involuntary processes. The involuntary process starts  from  the  hypopharynx through which food bolus quickly passes into the esophagus. The hypopharynx is bounded by two solid structures: the cricoid cartilage and  cervical vertebrae , forming a tunnel-like space ("hypopharyngeal tunnel") that limits food bolus passage . Change of head and neck position alters the integrity of the space, e.g. the geometry and density of soft tissues . Alteration of the head and neck posture has been used in swallowing therapy practice for feeding neurologically impaired patients, such as stroke and Parkinson's disease .  We have recently shown that 30% (9/3I)  of  elderly cadavers had a thickened or folded muscular wall at the end of the hypopharyngeal tunnel     but the thickened/folded wall was not found in non-elderly cadavers (0/63). Such structural change may represent a compensation mechanism for the alteration of the tunnel geometry and/or decrease of the tissue compactness during aging, likely causing swallowing difficulty in the living subject. This  hypothesis,  however,  has  never been tested . As a first step to test the hypothesis, using gross anatomy dissection, E12 sheet  plastination  and MR images, we examined the geometrical relationship between the anterior and posterior pharyngeal walls and between the thyroid and cricoid  cartilages  in  the anterior pharyngeal wall. Our preliminary results demonstrated that (1) the posterior surface of the cricoid cartilage and the anterior surface  of  the  vertebral column are not parallel to each other and (2) there are at least three patterns of the geometric  relationship between the posterior borders of the  thyroid  cartilage and the posterior surface of the cricoid cartilage. These results suggest that the passive elements of the hypopharynx may also play an important role during pharyngeal  phase of swallowing.

Alar   fascia,   danger   space   and   retropharyngeal space.

Nash L1, M Zhang2. 1Department of Anatomy, American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, St. Maarten, The Netherlands . 2Departmentof  Anatomy  and  Structural  Biology,   University  of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

The deep cervical fascia is conventionally classified as the investing, pretracheal and prevertebral fasciae . This classification is largely based on the classic study by Grodinsky and Holyoke in 1938, in  which  adult  and fetal cadavers were examined  using dissection and ink injection methods. Using  sheet  plastination  and confocal microscopy, several recent studies have demonstrated that the configuration of the deep cervical fascia is much more complicated than  previously thought. The prevertebral fascia envelopes the deep cervical muscles . Its anterior  portion  has  been considered by some authors to be a double layered structure . The more anterior layer is called the alar fascia; the posterior layer is the prevertebral fascia proper and the space between them, the danger space. Thus, the alar fascia serves as the anterior wall of the danger space and the posterior wall of the retropharyngeal or retrovisceral space. Clinically, however, the danger space and  retropharyngeal  space are considered together as they are not differentiated radiographically. The key issue to clarify  these conflicting views is whether there is the alar fascia. The aim of the present project was to determine the connective tissue configuration in the retropharyngeal region . Three adult cadavers aged from  67 to  89 years old were processed as sets of transverse plastinated sections of the neck (a total of 32 to 33 sections per cadaver) using the El2  sheet  plastination  technique. Our preliminary results indicated that  the  region between the vertebral column and the posterior pharyngeal wall had multiple  and  irregular  fascia! layers. A more or less constant layer was observed over the anterior surface of the vertebral bodies, anterior longitudinal ligament and  deep  anterior  cervical muscles. This layer mainly contained longitudinally­ orientated dense connective tissue fibers, presumably arising from muscular structures. Anterior to this layer were several layers of connective tissue fibers, often observed to be interwoven with each other and to form various patterns  of fascia-like  structures at different cervical levels. Laterally, this irregular multiple layered fascia continued with the carotid fascia, prevertebral fascia and the fascia around the pharynx and esophagus. These results indicate that there may not be a well­ defined alar fascia and thus the  danger space and retropharyngeal space may be a part of a single irregular space.

Double  balloon  endoscopy  in  dogs.

Latorre R1 ,  Ayala.2, F Soria1F  Carballo4E Perez-Cuadrado4, C Sanchez1, F Martinez1, G Ramirez1, E Abellan 1E  Estaca1,  R Henry5.

1Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Embryology, Veterinary School, University of Murcia, Spain, 2Department of Veterinary Surgery and Medicine, Veterinary School, University of Murcia, Spain, 3Minimally Invasive Surgery Center, Campus Universitario, Caceres, Spain, 4Digestive Service, Hospital Morales Meseguer, Murcia, Spain, 5Department of Comparative Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville , TN, USA.

Deep insertion of an endoscope into the small intestine is difficult. A new method , double balloon  enteroscopy (DBE), has been developed to improve access to  the small intestine. The aim of this study was to  evaluate the usefulness of this endoscopic system for small intestinal exploration in the dog. Experimental Procedure: This new method uses two balloons,  one attached to the tip of the endoscope and the other one at the tip of an overtube . Four dog gastrointestinal tracts obtained from necropsy at the Veterinary Hospital, University of Murcia were plastinated as anatomical specimens. They were  explored with DBE to check if the technical conditions of this method were optimal for dogs. The double-balloon endoscope advances through the intestine being held alternatively by the balloon on the endoscope and the balloon on the overtube . Results: It was  possible  to  examine  the  entire  small  intestine . Conclusion : Enteroscopy with the double balloon technique promises to become a standard method for diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy of the small intestine in dogs without surgical laparotomy.

Principles of polyester P35 plastination technique.

Weiglein AH. Institute of Anatomy, Medical University Graz, Graz, Austria, Europe.

The P35-procedure is used to produce thin (4, 6, or 8 mm) and semitransparent slices. It utilizes the FOUR MAIN STEPS* in plastination  plus some extra steps especially for the production of the slice. *FIXATION: Fresh brain specimens are fixed the usual way with 5- 10% formaldehyde for three to six weeks. Specimens that have been fixed by other methods should not be used for the P35 procedure because fixatives other than formaldehyde may cause unintentional reactions with the polymer. Slicing: After embedding in 20% gelatin to prevent degradation of the slices the brain specimens are cut with  a meat  slicer into 4mm  (or 6 or 8mm) slices. The slices are placed on stainless steel grids. The grids are piled up in a stainless steel basket. Flushing & Precooling: The basket of brain slices is rinsed with cold  tap  water  overnight  and  cooled  down  to  5°C. Flushing may be extended to 2 days and is used to get rid  of  the  fixative.  *DEHYDRATION:  Subsequent dehydration  in two  baths  of  100% acetone  with  an acetone-brain ratio of at least 10:1. The basket of brain slices is submerged in 100% acetone at -20°C (10:1 per brain) for  1 to 2 days. The basket  of brain slices is submerged in another bath of 100% acetone at -20°C (10 :1 per brain) for 1-2 days. Dehydration must be as complete  as  possible  for  brains  -  with  an  acetone concentration  98%  or  higher.  Caution:  Dehydrated brains become very brittle and breakable - handle with care!  Immersion:  The basket   of  brain slices is submerged in precooled P35/A9 mixture (100:2) for 1 day at 5°C (to -25°C). The basket of brain slices is submerged in fresh precooled P35/A9 mixture (100 :2) for 1 more day at 5°C (to -25°C). Caution: Immersion baths must be kept in the dark to prevent the reaction mixture from polymerization . Note : The first immersion bath should not be reused and be discarded away after use. The 2nd bath may be used as 1st immersion bath for the next procedure . *FORCED IMPREGNATION: The  basket  of brain  slices  is  submerged  in  a fresh P35/A 9 mixture (100:2) and placed under vacuum for 24 hours at -25°C or, if the vacuum chamber is  too large, at room temperature. The vacuum is  increased until l-2mm Hg is attained when impregnating at -25°C or 10-15mm Hg is attained when impregnating at room temperature . Note : This bath may be used as 2nd immersion bath for the next procedure . Casting/ double glass chambers: The slices are removed from the vacuum chamber and individual slices are  placed between two sets of glass plates. Each set consists of one outer sheet of safety glass and one inner sheet of float (window) glass, the latter sheet facing the brain slices. A silicone gasket (6mm for 4mm slices) is used to seal the chamber around the edges and fold-back clamps are used to fix the two double glass plates together. Then the glass chambers containing the specimens are filled with a fresh P35/A9 mixture (100:2). For filling the standard size chamber (35 x 45cm)   about   700cc   polymer    mixture    is   needed . *CURING: is a two step procedure consisting of subsequent application of UVA-light and heat (45°C) . Light Curing: After casting, the double glass chambers are exposed to UVA-light for a period of 45 minutes to 4 hours depending on the wattage and on the distance of the UVA lamps. During this procedure it is necessary to cool the chambers either by ventilators on both sides or by blowing compressed air over both sides  of  the double glass chamber. Caution: Cooling is important because the UVA-light causes an exothermic that would destroy the specimens if they are not cooled . To prevent cracking of the P35 slices during light curing it is also recommended to use low wattage - UVA-lamps and longer curing time . Heat Curing: Following light curing the double glass chambers are exposed to 45°C for 4 to 5 days in a well-ventilated oven. Finishing: After curing is finished the glass chambers are dismantled and the sections are trimmed on a band  saw and the edges smoothed using a belt sander.

Epoxy polymer: old and new  generations.  

Tsabari S, EC Pace. VisDocta Research Laboratory: Biological material preservation /Advanced polymers , Tignale, Italy, Europe .

Previous epoxy systems, know as old generation epoxy were compared with two newly developed formulas of epoxy systems. These are labelled as new generation epoxy resins. Epoxy resin and components, hardener component and co-reactant component, were chosen for their specific predetermined characteristics and their suitability for solving common trouble areas in epoxy impregnated specimens. Their physical and chemical parameters were taken into consideration for five different types and combinations of tissues : connective, adipose, glandular, muscular, bone and mixed systems. The goal was to develop resins providing special performance properties that will assist both room temperature and cool temperature processes . The first product enables the plastinator to impregnate specimens and obtain excellent results at low and high profile (slides  or  cubes)  0.5mm  to   1000 mm .  The  second product is an excellent medium for obtaining casts of vessels by using very low-density products . O. lmm tubes and 50.0mm cylinders were realized and tested . Both products are characterized by: increased pot-life , reduced viscosity, colour/transparency  stability, yellowing and blushing resistance and - an insignificant shrinkage using pure elements .

Polyester  plastination  technique:  Specific  troubles and problems.

Henry RW. Department of Comparative Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA.

The     introduction     of    polyester     resins     for     sheet plastination  two  decades  ago has  revolutionized  brain sectional study.  Exquisite  slices with remarkable differentiation  of gray  and  white  matter  are  generally obtainable  if a few simple rules are followed. P35 and P40   are  the  two   widely   used   polymers.   P35   was introduced  in  the   1980's  and  yielded  brain  slices  of unparalleled  beauty, clarity and definition of white and gray matter .  It was  a  perfect  product  and  likely  very difficult  to  improve   upon .  P35   is  without   flaw.  If dropped  on  a  hard  surface,  the  P35  slice  will  likely fracture  or crack. If too much  UV  light is used  and/or not  enough  cooling   is  provided   during  curing,  the enveloping glass plates may crack. Ten years later P40 was   unveiled   as   a   shorter   and   less   cumbersome technique with good contrast of gray and white matter. P40 slices are good quality. However, the P40 polymer is not as problem  free  at least for the novice . Similar problems  may  occur during  curing  as with  P35, glass fracture . However a major problem when used on brain tissue  may  occur:  Orange  areas  in  the  gray  matter appear.  To  date,  the  etiology  of  these  spots  is  not known. Various reasons for the discoloration have been suggested :  Incomplete   fixation   or  wrong   choice   of fixative,  incomplete  impregnation , and  tissue peroxidases .  However, there  seems  to  be  no  way  to predict  if this  will  occur  and  no  clear  resolution  has been provided . To remedy this problem , an additive has been developed. It seems to minimize  spots. Shrinkage of 4 .5 to 7.0% has been reported , varying from cold to warm  temperature  impregnation . P40  slice production takes only five or six days to complete, while P35 slice production takes ten to twelve days.   P40  slice production generally takes only one half of the glass to make the  flat chambers  when  compared to P35  slices. P35 uses more resin (three immersion bathes) while P40  only one bath.  Since catalyst is used in the production of P35 slices in the immersion and impregnation baths, the impregnated slices need to be cast within  a  few days. However, with the possibility of using no catalyst in the  impregnation  bath, P40  slices may  be  held  for several weeks to months after impregnation in the impregnation bath before casting. If the P40 impregnated slices remain in the polymer for extended periods of time (months), the slices may adhere to the grid spacers that are used to separate the tissue  slices. Since the early 2000 's, P40 has been used successfully to produce slices from all regions of the body. Additionally , P35 has been used for head slices. P35 and P40 slices remain fully transparent with no yellowing over time . However, if the P40 sections are too thick or have dense, dark organs and catalyst has not been used, the polyester over this area of the slice may not completely cure or remain weak.

A study of osseointegration and  nerve  regeneration after dental  implantology  by   means  of  P35.

Weninger B, AH Weiglein. Institute of Anatomy, Medical University Graz, Austria. Medical University, Graz, Austria, Europe.

During the last year, studies have been conducted at the Institute of Anatomy, Medical University Graz to evaluate the osseointegration of dental implants and the regeneration of the inferior alveolar nerve, respectively. To this effect implants of different sizes were placed in the upper jaws of pigs. The lower jaws received  only one implant on each side with the special goal of injuring the inferior alveolar nerve. The pigs were sacrificed after different periods of  time .  Both  upper and lower jaws were embedded in P35 using the standard P35 plastination technique . To achieve histological sections of  the  bone-implant-complexes , the embedded upper jaws were cut with a diamond band saw (Exact 310 CP) at the exact level of interest and afterwards ground to the desired thickness with the diamond grinding system (Exact 420 CL). The lower jaws received the same treatment, only repeatedly so, to achieve a series of ultrathin sections. The pieces of the lower jaws containing the implants underwent MicroCT-scanning as well to allow a comparison with standard histological evaluation. The main advantage of using P35 as embedding medium - instead of methacrylate or Technovit 7200 - is the possibility  to use larger objects because of using forced impregnation of P35 .

Principles of polyester P40  plastination techniques. Sheet plastination  with  polyester. An  alternative for  all tissues.

Latorre  R1, W Hernandez2, F  Gil1, J Arredondo2, G Ramirezl0 Lopez-Albors1,  MD Ayala1JM  Vaquez1, RW Henry3

1Anatomia Embriologia, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Murcia, Murcia, Spain, 2Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia,  Universidad del Estado de Mexico, Mexico. 3Department of Comparative Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, TN, USA.

Classically, the main application of polyester polymer (P40 and P35, Biodur™) is the production of brain or head slices. Recently semi-transparent body slices were produced using P40. The purpose of this study was to develop a protocol for using P40 to produce slices from all regions of the body. An unembalmed cat cadaver was cleaned and frozen at -70°C. A modification of the P40 technique (von Hagens, 1994) was used to plastinate the 2.0mm sections. The manufactured tissue slices were semi-transparent. After curing, the polyester around the tissue was transparent and no yellowing was detected in any slices. The fat tissue was semi­ transparent, and the other tissues or organs were significantly highlighted against the cleared fat. There were no problems impregnating or curing any type of tissue . All of the slices became hard after curing, even when the surface of the tissue slice was close to the glass of the flat chamber. The cast tissue slices provided a high degree of detail and permitted visualization of the various body structures in their normal topography of the region . Also the semi-transparency of the specimens allows viewing at the submacroscopic level. The results of this work demonstrate that the P40 method (Biodur™) may be used to produce semi­ transparent body slices from any region of the body as with the E12 method (Biodur™).

Applications of plastination in dentistry: Evaluation of different antero- and retrograde root canal obturation methods, osseointegration and nerve regeneration after dental implantology.

Weiglein AH1, B Weninger2, L Kqiku2  1Intitute of Anatomy and 2Department of Conservative Dentistry, Dental Clinic, Medical University Graz, Austria. Medical University, Graz, Austria, Europe.

During the last two years at the Institute of Anatomy, Medical University Graz, a dental research program based on polyester plastination and plastination micromorphology has been established. The central equipment for this program is the P35 plastination lab plus the Exact Slicing and Grinding System consisting of a diamond band saw (Exact 310 CP) and the diamond grinding system (Exact 420 CL) which allow: 1) Production of thin sections of P35 impregnated specimens at the exact level of interest and 2) Production of ultrathin sections for histological evaluation. These thin sections, at a predefined level, have been used to study the quality of different root canal obturation methods and to study a new methodology  for obturation  after  root  tip  extraction. The ultrathin histology is recently used for the study of bone-implant-interfaces and bone remodeling in dental implantology. The later allowed large serial implant specimens to be viewed , which is not possible with the standard methacrylate protocol. Moreover, osseointegration was evaluated by plastination histology and Micro-CT to study the accuracy and comparability of both methods . Parallel to the bone remodeling study, regeneration of the inferior alveolar nerve was studied after injury during implant placement. In all studies, the results were excellent and yielded permanent thin sections of the desired region, which allow the quality of root canal obturation methods, implant­ osseointegration and nerve regeneration to be studied in series. Thus, the study demonstrated that polyester plastination is an excellent replacement for standard histology embedding methods (e.g.: methacrylate) with the special advantage of being much less expensive.

Split brain CT and P35 data set. 

Weninger  B,  E Pusch, W Rosmarin, AH Weiglein. Institute of Anatomy, Medical University Graz, AustriaMedical University, Graz, Austria , Europe.

During the routine neuroanatomy dissection course a split brain - a brain without a corpus callosum was found. -The brain was immediately taken to the CT scanner (Siemens Somatom AR.T) and an axial and coronal CT data set was acquired. The data set was used for 3D reconstruction using the 3D Doctor software on a regular PC. Subsequently, the brain was sliced in the coronal plane and the slices processed with the standard P35 method. A series of 4mm thick slices is now available to study the interesting anatomy of a split brain . Patients with absent corpus callosum are known to  have  no  motor,  sensory  or  intelligence  deficits. However, the main problem remaining and not necessarily recognized is the fact that the right and left visual fields have no interconnection . Thus, in a short visual signal only to the "minor" (non-dominant) hemisphere , which usually is the right, no verbal response can be obtained and the patient is unaware of the occurrence of the signal. The dominant hemisphere is the verbal, linguistic, mathematical , analytical hemisphere with a direct link to consciousness . Whereas, the non-dominant hemisphere is mostly non­ verbal , dealing with music, geometry, spatial comprehension with no positive connections to consciousness .

Plastination of 3.5-5.0 month old human aborted fetuses.

Esfandiary E, M Mardani, M Naghdi. Anatomical Sciences Department, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran .

A collection of human fetuses with ages between  3 .5- 5.0 months needed both for an objective approach in teaching medical embryology, as well  as,  for educational purposes in forensic medicine, according to Islamic law. Therefore, fetuses were collected and preserved by  a  modified-polyester  plastination technique. Twelve human aborted fetuses of 3.5-5.0 months of age were collected from university hospitals in Isfahan . These were fixed in a 10% formalin solution, cleared in hydrogen peroxide, if needed . Dehydration was down in acetone . The specimens were impregnated using a polyester resin, P75 with glycerine added. Resin was also injected by positive pressure in anatomical spaces for prevention of shrinkage. A collection of 12 plastinated aborted human fetuses were prepared . The color of specimen were clear except one of them which was an abortus, with black color, that was not treated with hydrogen peroxide , in order to show the color of a missed aborted fetus to the students. These  polyester resin plastinated samples compared favorably with silicone plastinated specimens. Both polymers provide similar durability, but flexibility using resin with glycerine added for impregnation was greater than impregnation with silicone. This is probably due to the effect of glycerine in the impregnated polyester. In this project, silicone was substituted for an inexpensive polyester resin called P75, a provided interesting, dry, durable and odorless specimens. The specimens were good for teaching of embryology and for forensic medicine purposes.

The polyester technique for sheet plastination of the common dolphin.

Gao H, J Liu, S Yu, H Sui. Department of Anatomy, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, China.

In order to display the structure distinctly for study and research, the polyester  technique  for sheet plastination of the common dolphin was used in the experiment. The process of sheet plastination was carried out as following: A dead common dolphin was divided into two parts,  the head and the body.  After freezing at-70°C, 43 sagittal slices of the head and 348 transverse slices of the  body were made in total on a high-speed band saw. All the slices were fixed  in  10% formaldehyde for two weeks, and then bleached using 5% dioxygen overnight. They were precooled in 5°C refrigerator prior to dehydration. The slices were dehydrated in a cold acetone baths, and degreased in an acetone baths gradually warmed to  room  temperature. Flat chambers were prepared for casting using  two plates of tempered glass.  Slices were  placed  between the two glass plates with a new resin mix for impregnation. The slices were impregnated under vacuum in the flat chambers . They were cured with heat in a water bath. After curing, the sheets were cut and trimmed to size and sanded. After the process of sheet plastination, the dolphin sections had excellent contrast between the different tissues. Detailed  information  on the anatomy of dolphin was provided in each slice. The results of our experiment were satisfying. The polyester technique for sheet plastination of common dolphin was practical.

Sheet  plastinates  for everyday  teaching  purposes.

von Horst C. HC Biovision , Mainburg, Germany.

Sheet plastinates and pictures thereof can give amazing insights into the topography of  anatomical  structures . For a number of reasons the plastinates themselves are still not commonly used in everyday teaching . Some of the reasons are the: a) Need for seeing a series of plastinates  to  visualize  complex  anatomical  structures, b) Risk of scratching and breaking , c) Yellowing of epoxy plastinates and d) Lack of manageability of sheet plastinates in classrooms and We used the Tissue Tracing Technique (TTT) for the ideal display of anatomical structures. First a rather thick sheet plastinate is prepared , which includes all the structures that need to be shown. In a second step, plastinated tissue is taken away by grinding, so that even complex anatomical structures are visible in one single sheet plastinate . The thickness can be adapted at different parts of the plastinate individually . Casting the ground plastinates between Acrylic Protection Layers (APL) added the stability and manageability needed for teaching purposes. The plastinates were tested in practice by vets, farriers, in student classes, in lay education (Lemort Natur) and by a series of tests performed by ourselves. The ability of the plastinate to stand free on a plane surface was a big advantage in classroom teaching, while vets and farriers appreciated the manageable format and durability of the plastinates when taking them to their clients. Scratches which appeared on the APL could be removed by polishing the APL. Dropping the plastinate on a stone surface from 3m height in our tests led to breaking of edges and to limited detachment of APL. The plastinate was still usable for teaching . After severe damage of the APL from repeated hits and falls the TTT-sheet plastinate could be completely detached from the APL and showed no damage at all. After re-embedding between APL the appearance compared to a new plastinate . TIT-sheet plastinates are useful teaching aids. One single sheet plastinate can provide enough insights to add significant value to a teaching course. Its manageability and durability allow real hands-on experience in the class room . Through polishing and re-embedding between APL, the TTT-sheet plastinates are extremely durable and practically ever lasting. Even old yellowed or scratched  conventional  sheet  plastinates can be renovated with this method.

Plastination, learning styles and teaching strategies.

Easteal RA, L MacKenzie, CW Reifel, SC Pang, RE Hunt. Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Queen 's University, Kingston , Ontario, Canada.

To best optimize a students performance and enjoyment in a Gross Anatomy course it has become increasingly clear that the student optimum learning style should be matched by the availability of teaching methodologies and specimens - especially plastinated  specimens.

The three basic learning styles for Anatomy may be listed:

  1. VISUAL - think in pictures
  2. TACTILE - "hands on" learning
  3. AUDITORY - you  "see" words

How can modem, integrated , interactive teaching methods be tailored to meet all 3 learning styles? What are the  educational strategies? At  Queen's, we see several options:

  1. Traditional lecture/lab
  2. Lecture - plus self-directed lab (S.D.)
  3. Lecture - D.L. plus team based learning (T.B.L.)
  4. Lecture - peer teaching (P.T.)

We are able to have these options because we have :

  1. 800 specimen traditional "wet" specimen museum 2. 600 plastinated "hands-on " teaching specimens
  2. GAHIC - a web based atlas - with most of these specimens
  3. . A hard copy Atlas of our teaching collection

The paper will demonstrate how we match the three learning styles and the four teaching strategies with the specimens, and will emphasize the  overriding importance of Plastination to our future plans .

Treasures of our department: The Professor Albert Gellert Anatomy Museum.

Weiczner R, A Mihaly. Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary.

In Europe, there has always been a tradition and custom to establish and continuously enrich "anatomical collections" or museums for the benefit of anatomical studies and research.  Although  the  Anatomy  Museum of our Department had been set up, around the end of the 19th century in Kolozsvar, its greatest development took place under the Institute leadership of Prof. Dr. Albert Gellert (1894-1967 , Chairman of  the Department: 1936-1967). After studying the traditional concepts of Fredericq (1876) and Hochstetter (1927), he developed a new method (first published in Hungarian , 1935) that was successfully applied over 30 years . The freshly prepared demonstrative material  was first fixed in formaldehyde-solution , and then dehydrated in alcohol solutions of increasing concentration , over few days-weeks depending on the size. After  dehydration, the specimen was bathed in a mix of alcohol and benzene solutions with increasing benzene proportion , later on in pure benzene . After this pre-treatment , the preparates were paraffin-impregnated , at first in soft, than in hard paraffin wax over few days-one week in thermostat incubator. The preparate was chilled in room temperature , positioned , and then remodeling  took place . Remodeling was carried out using a hairdresser's fan blowing hot air to soften the specimen . This was followed by careful re-shaping with a hot wax knife, in order to rearrange every detail according to the original characteristics . The specimen was then covered with a layer of varnish, and stained; joint ligaments blue ; muscles brown; arteries red; veins blue ; nerves yellow. Finally, a second layer of thin varnish was applied  to the specimen which had already been mounted on a suitable metal and wood support. Our mission is to use and treasure this collection, the achievement of tremendous human endeavor for teaching and learning. An important step of our traditional anatomy final exam (Rigorosum) is based on the identification and description of certain anatomical relations  and structures by using the original preparates of the Professor Gellert Museum.

Scientific potential of plastination:  Tissue  patterning and sheet plastination.

Zhang M. Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand .

The body arranges organs, tissues and cells in special patterns to form distinct structures through a set of developmental instructions that we do not fully understand . Elucidation of the mechanisms of the patterning is necessary to provide  practical  principles for functional replacements of diseased tissues and organs (e.g. tissue and organ engineering). Patterning at the cellular level and at developmental biology level has been extensively studied for decades. Evidence from a number of studies strongly indicates that  the information controlling patterning is  localized  within the connective tissue. However, although the important role of the connective tissue in controlling the patterning has been well recognized , the patterning of connective tissue itself has been largely ignored, particularly at the tissue and organ levels. The major difficulty in studying the tissue patterning of connective tissue is that its delicate structure lacks a clear demarcation from the surrounding tissue and thus is damaged or altered easily during dissection . Although histological examination may overcome the problem , application of such method is greatly limited by the size of sample areas. Sheet plastination provides a new approach to elucidate the patterning of the connective tissue at macroscopic and microscopic levels . The objective of this presentation is to use our recent studies on connective tissue patterning in the human cervical region (Johnson et al., 2000 ; Johnson and Zhang, 2002 ; Zhang and Lee, 2002 ; Nash et al., 2005a, Nash et al., 2005b) as an example to demonstrate advantages and limitations of the sheet plastination technique  in studying the connective tissue patterning.

Plastinated specimens in a fully integrated teaching model.

MacKenzie L, R Easteal, C Reifel, S Pang, R Hunt. Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Queen 's University, Kingston , Ontario, Canada.

It is well established that students learn more effectively if they interact and are engaged (active learning) in the subject matter. We have adopted strategies focused on active learning in large laboratory classes that are interactive and practical as possible. Concurrently, we have been able to optimize teaching time for our faculty while maintaining high educational standards for the students. Laboratory exercises of anatomical and morphological sciences are organized into modules and are essential for active learning by  students.  Each module contains detailed instruction, self-directed learning components and a variety of quizzes and self­ assessment learning activities . In addition,  our department has established an extensive, well-organized and internationally recognized anatomy museum consisting mainly of wet specimens . Our dissected specimens represent real structures and provide the students with a complete visual guide to the  human body. However, handling the specimen is the best way to begin to understand and learn the three-dimensional aspects of the human body . We are actively involve in preparation of specimens using plastination technology. The plastinated  specimens  complement  our  collection of wet specimens but more  importantly  they  augment the students learning by providing the physical "hands on" component of active learning .  These  specimens play a pivotal role in the  student's learning  whether it be instructor taught, self-directed or team based. As a result, the students have become much more independent and actively involved.  Plastinated specimens have allowed us to present a complete visual objectives. Our innovative approach is receiving excellent reviews, both informal and through formal course evaluations, from students of Medicine, Nursing , Rehabilitation Therapy, Life Sciences, and Physical and Health Education.

Plastinated  specimens  as  an  adjunct  to   dissection: Are they really helpful?

Raoof A, L Liu, H Zhao, K Falk, T Bodnar, E Dueke. Division of Anatomical Sciences, Office of Medical Education, The University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

At the University of Michigan Medical School, plastinated specimens have become an essential component of undergraduate , medical, and dental anatomy education particularly during the past few years. The aim has been to provide suitable specimens that reflect the essential concepts in anatomy in order to promote students independent  learning.  In  the traditional ,  lecture-based  undergraduate  anatomy course, visits to the anatomy lab have been introduced where pertinent plastinated specimens are displayed . Members of faculty explain the anatomical and clinical material using plastinated specimens. A  practical quiz will follow where students are asked  to  identify essential anatomical landmarks on those specimens. Innovative approaches to enhance the quality of plastinated specimens have been implemented, such as coloring neurovascular pathways and casting hollow viscera to demonstrate complex  anatomical  features. The validity of these specimens in facilitating anatomy learning has been assessed through  surveys administered both to first- and second-year medical and undergraduate students. Results showed an overall acceptance of the  plastinated specimens as a valuable adjunct to dissection. Forty four percent (44%) of the first year medical students believed that plastinated specimens were very helpful in learning the spatial relationships of important anatomical structures. While 33% of the second  year medical students thought that coloring neurovascular structures was  very  helpful. Also, 65% of the  undergraduate  students  strongly agreed that using plastinated specimens during lab visits was useful in understanding essential anatomical concepts. These specimens are planned for a wider use in the future to assist faculty and students in the effective utilization of the time allocated to anatomy.

Plastinated specimens and their use for universal design for education  and  multimedia  for students and physical guide to the human body in a revolutionary with disabilities.

Miklofovti.  M1V  Lucza1, Daxnerova1, ,Z Miklosova2. 1Department of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Science, University of P.J Safarik, Kosice, Slovak Republic, 2 University of Veterinary Medicine, Kosice, Slovak Republic.

Development of special education software and multimedia products for students with different disabilities using principles of Universal Design and Human Computer Interface will be described. These exist as some original technologies for interaction with users with different levels of disability used  in developing  special  education .  The  plastinated specimens were used as computer models and for animations created in CD MMS 2004. Presentations were used in common PCs with Windows 98 operation system and higher. The CD presentation contains information, which is usable in learning  for the  blind and in learning of students with  other disabilities. Use of presentations (developed  with the aid of plastinated specimens) in the youth centres after lessons is a meaningful application of computers in the schools. The presentations include special test parts with feedback information for students or teacher . Each presentation is developed as freeware. We have developed a special education software and multimedia product with application of previous principles of  UDL  and  HCL. We produced special multimedia CDs. The CDs were tested in different schools for students with disabilities. The programmes have been created not only for education but also for probing , prevention, and rehabilitation of disabilities . The  products  take individual disabilities, their specific qualities and educating software  availability rules into account. The CD includes special educational software with complex of functions: Education - parts of software with education software; Assessment - parts of software with tests; Diagnostics of disability - developing of special diagnostic software  needs  cooperation  with psychologists and special educators; Therapy of disabilities, software in the form of a game or quiz helps students to eliminate their disabilities ; Information - database of AT; Motivation - for students in school who work with software and programmers , research,  each software contains documentation with own research of UDL and HCI. We intend to apply our experiences in development of new special  education software  for students with diverse disabilities . The special software and multimedia enable students with disabilities to be better integrated into schools and in social life. (Supported by CEGA Slovakia grant No. 3/ 3006/05).

Poster presentations

Technique for the demonstration of arterial arcades in the jejunum using the E12 technique of plastination,   casting resin and silicone rubber injection.

Mathura G, N Lachman. Department of Human Biology, Durban Institute of Technology, Durban, South Africa .

Often, the preparation of anatomical teaching and learning aids require innovative use of anatomical techniques that combine  standard  methods  of plastination , resin cast preparation and silicone rubber injection. Arterial arcades of the small intestine are demonstrable features in the comparison between jejunum and the ileum. This study aimed to demonstrate by means of an innovative  technique ,  the  arterial arcades of a segment of a jejunum. During  a postmortem examination two  segments  of approximately 120mm were carefully removed with the superior mesenteric artery attached. The harvested specimen were thoroughly washed in Juke warm water and submerged in 3% formalin . Injection was achieved via a branch of the superior mesenteric artery.  A volume of 50ml red pigmented casting  resin  was prepared and injected . This was followed immediately by injection of approximately 100 ml of clear resin into the lumen so that the intestine assumed its anatomical shape. The resin was allowed to set at room temperature and left overnight in cold water. On the following day the tissue was subjected to acid maceration in concentrated hydrochloric acid. After 24 hours the cast was washed , dried and varnished for display . The second segment was injected with pigmented silicone rubber via a branch of the superior  mesenteric  artery and prepared for plastination. Once again the lumen was injected with approximately lOOml  clear resin  so that the intestine assumed its anatomical shape. The tissue was dehydrated using alcohol at concentrations  from 40% to 100%. Forced impregnation in El2 plastination solution was then administered , followed by curing. A purpose-made electrically lit box was constructed to house these specimens to give the desired effect.

Rejuvenation of damaged and post-plastination enhancement  of  human  anatomy  specimens  for ·teaching and learning.

Hunt RE, A Parfitt, L W MacKenzie, RA Easteal, CW Reifel, SC Pang. Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Queen 's University, Kingston , Ontario, Canada.

During a regular academic year, more than  1,000 students utilize our teaching facilities per week. Most of these students handle our plastinated human Anatomy specimens to fulfill their learning experience. As a result of extensive use, many of our plastinated specimens have been damaged and  therefore  became less desirable for learning and teaching . Over the past few years, we have been investigating alternative methods   for  specimen  preparation   in  an  attempt  to increase the durability  and to enhance  special  features of these specimens. Other laboratories  have  tried several methods to reinforce the orifices of organs but with little long-term success. In our laboratory, we have reinforced boundaries of a variety of orifices using common cotton string prior to plastination .  The structural integrity of the orifices in these specimens remained intact for at least 2 to 3 years following extensive use . Moreover, we have also  found that dissecting and removing  tissue  from   damaged plastinated specimens could reveal structures that were not visible in the original dissection . Thus, post­ plastination dissection can rejuvenate old and damaged specimens into new, structurally and functionally usable materials for learning and teaching . As well, we have recently been experimenting with a technique of post­ processing staining (colouring) of plastinated specimens and found that commonly used plastination polymer can be easily tinted with various dyes. When  properly applied to correctly-prepared surfaces, post-processing staining provides an enhancement for both old and new plastinated   specimens.  These   simple techniques  add longevity  and  enhancement to plastinated  specimens have become important learning and teaching tools for students and teachers of human Gross Anatomy at Queen's University.

Anatomy of the temporomandibular joint in the cat: A study using P40 sections.

Arredondo J1, A Agui2, M Ayala3, JM Hervas3, A Arencibia4, E Rodriguez1,  W Hernandez1,   E  Abellan5, E  Estaca5 ,  R  Latorre3.  1Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia , Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico, Mexico. 2Departamento de  Medicina  y  Cirugia  Animal , Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad  de  Murcia, Murcia, Spain. 3Anatomia y Embriologia , Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Murcia, Murcia, Spain. 4Departamento de Morfologia, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, 5Centro de Cirugia de  Minima  Invasion,  Cacer s, Spain.

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) has received little attention in cats. Its precise anatomy is poorly documented in textbooks and few reports describe it. A detailed anatomical knowledge of the TMJ is a prerequisite for assisting diagnostic techniques such as ultrasonography . The objectives of this work are: 1) To recognize macroscopic structures by using different anatomical techniques and 2) To identify the anatomical structures by ultrasounds . Dissections and synovial and vascular injections were performed in seven adult mixed breed cats. Thin cryosections (2-3mm) were obtained on the transversal and longitudinal planes and preserved using the P40 plastination method . The ultrasonography study was preformed  in three adult mixed breed cats, under deep sedation .  An   11MHz linear transducer was used over the masseter muscle to make transversal and longitudinal approaches to  the joint. A correlation between plastinated sections and ultrasonography images was made. The  condylar process of the mandible , retroarticular process , articular disc, articular space, articular capsule and capsular reinforcements were identified in the macroscopic sections. Also, the relationship between the TMJ and other structures such as the parotid gland, the maxillary artery and vein and their branches was evidenced . Attachments of the masticatory muscles to the  TMJ were also observed . The vascular supply of TMJ was described in detail. The use of the plastinated anatomic cross-sections made on the same planes of the sonographic views in the cat TMJ, allowed a correct identification of all structures and to establish a direct correlation with other adjacent structures.

Anatomy of the pancreas of the pig: A study using P40  sections.

Hernandez  w1, S  Fei2, M Ayala , F  Martinez3, E Rodriguez1, E Abellan2, , E Estaca2 , JM Hervas3,  J  Arredondo1R Latorre3 -  Facultad   de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico, Mexico, 2Centro de Cirugia de Minima  Invasion,  Caceres,  Spain, 3Anatomia   y  Embriologia ,  Facultad   de   VeterinariaUniversidad de Murcia, Murcia, Spain, 4Departamento de Morfologia, Facultad de VeterinariaUniversidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.

Pigs have been used as large animal models of many human diseases. The porcine pancreas is similar to the human pancreas , it is almost a retroperitoneal organ and the pancreatic body wraps around the portal vein. Branches from the celiac and the cranial mesenteric arteries supply blood to the pancreas. The pancreatic branches of the splenic artery irrigate the left lobe, whereas the right lobe is irrigated by the cranial and caudal pancreaticoduodenal arteries. The anatomic location and the common anastomoses in pancreatic circulation make difficult its approach by  classic surgery. The objective of this work was to study the topography of the normal pig pancreas . Eight juvenile pig cadavers (25kg) were injected with epoxy via the external iliac artery to form a vascular cast of the abdominal aorta. Dissections were performed and thin cryosections (2-3mm) were obtained on the transverse plane and preserved using the P40 plastination method . Branching patterns of the pancreatic arteries were then examined . These anatomical techniques allowed demonstration   of  the   diameters   of   some  pancreatic arteries. This revealed they were large enough to be entered with endovascular catheters by using interventional radiology techniques . The retroperitoneal topography of the vascular supply of the  pancreas makes it almost impossible to approach it by current surgical techniques .

Zinc chloride embalming technique and silicone plastination.

van Toor I, V Verplancke, F van Glabbeek, M Vandersteen, E van Marek, H Bortier. Human Anatomy and Embryology, Medicine Faculty, University of Antwerp, Belgium, Europe .

It is known that formalin and phenol vapors are irritants to airways and eyes of man and animals. Personal health of the technician, tutors and students and efficiency considerations led to the adaptation of a zinc chloride  embalming technique 6 years ago. Since the year  2000, the  anatomy  institute  has  embalmed   180 cadavers using this technique . All embalmed cadavers were used in dissection courses and experimental anatomy. The embalming solution contains 10 liters of Zinc Chloride® and 100ml Arthyl®. Embalming starts with the injection of fluid through the femoral artery within one week of death. Blood is not removed from the cadaver. In order to shorten the embalming period , a pump is fitted to the cannulae and the solution is pumped into the cadaver in three to four hours. After embalming, the cadavers can be stored for over 2 years at four degrees Celsius temperature. Five months after embalming, a cadaver was dissected and several organs and tissues were removed and prepared for plastination using the S 10 Silicone technique . No irritation of the airways or the eyes was experienced during dissections by the technician , tutors and the students. Cadavers embalmed with zinc chloride have more flexible joints than cadavers embalmed with formalin and phenol . Natural colors are preserved and odor is low. Microscopic morphology of embalmed cadaver specimens, removed one year post mortem,  is comparable with microscopic morphology of specimens at the moment of embalming. The embalmed specimens were compatible with acetone dehydration for plastination . The plastinated specimens of the pharynx, foot, a  section of the lower  limb, two  kidneys,  spleen, liver, lung, knee, cerebrum, cerebellum, part of  the chest wall, testis and two different hand specimens retained their natural color  and  macroscopic morphology .  After plastination of the specimens, the median shrink percentage was 10 percent. The adapted embalming technique fixes the tissues sufficiently for over a year. Because of flexibility of tissues and joints in cadavers embalmed with  the adapted zinc chloride solution, surgical techniques can be exercised . It is possible to plastinate specimens removed from a zinc chloride embalmed cadaver using the S10 plastination technique. The plastinates are used for educational purposes in the medical curriculum at the University of Antwerp .

Plastination laboratory at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Egypt.

Aly AE 1   H Konig2, M Sora3- 1Department of Anatomy and Embryology , Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University ,  Egypt,  2Veterinary   Medicine   University, Vienna, 3Medical University, Vienna, Austria, Europe .

The Zagazig Plastination Laboratory was established at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine , Zagazig University , Egypt, to enhance the teaching of Anatomy for both Veterinary and Human medical  students.  The Laboratory contains 4 Plastination deep freezers (ca.250 Liters, -25°C), six stainless steel containers for dehydration, two plastination units from Biodur, Heidelberg, Germany and one local made Plastination unit. Two curing units are available, one gas curing and another ultraviolet curing for Polyester 40. At this stage, the Laboratory is designed for preparation of Plastinated specimens by the S10 technique and P40 for sheet plastination of brains. A plastination exhibition is established with more than one hundred plastinated specimens. Students are very happy with this exhibition, which helps them in their studies. International symposium on Plastination was held on February 12, 2006 with more than two hundred Anatomists from Egyptian  and  Austrian  Universities . Now  we  plan  to make plastinated specimens at all Egyptian The Plastination Laboratory is supported by  a Project from Higher Education Enhancement Program Fund (HEEPF, 2°d cycle 2004, Code B-053-To) .

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