The Journal of Plastination

Abstracts Presented at the 20th International Conference of the ISP Temuco, Chile (Online) 18th-21st July 2022

Abstracts are listed in alphabetical order of first author. The presenting author is underlined.


At the conclusion of the ISP Conference 2022, prizes were awarded to:

Albertina Popp: Best Oral Presentation of Classical Anatomical Techniques

Mircea-Constantin Sora: Best Oral Presentation of Research with Plastination

Inés Laguna-García: Best Oral Presentation of Education and Clinical Application of Plastination

Maureen Stabio: Best Oral Presentation of Fundamentals of Plastination


Adds, PJ

Department of Anatomical Sciences, St George’s University of London, London, UK

At the 19th International Conference of the ISP in 2018, in Dalian, the history of the first ten years of The Journal of Plastination was presented, from the publication in 1987 of Volume 1, Issue 1 of what was then called ‘The Journal of the International Society of Plastination’, up until Volume 12 Issue 2 in 1997. In this presentation, those early years were summarized, before moving on to discuss the development of the journal and the leading figures involved with it over the following decade. The second decade culminated in the publication of the plastinators’ ‘bible’ in 2007, the eighty-page, single-issue Volume 22 “cookbook” which gave detailed instructions for plastination with all the available methods (Biodur, North Carolina, Dow/Corcoran, VisDocta, and Hoffen), for silicone (cold-temperature and room-temperature), epoxy, and polyester plastination. The Editor from 1987-2000 was Gilles Grondin; Bob Henry was Interim Editor for Volume 16 (2001), a single issue which was dedicated to the memory of Dr Harmon Bickley; Robert Reed Jr took over as Editor from 2002. During this decade, the journal continued to develop and thrive, with a glossy cover complete with a colored photograph, and improved print and image quality, including colored images, inside. The decade ended in fine style, with the front cover of Volume 22 (2007) bearing a striking photograph of Gunther von Hagens’ plastinated ‘Rearing Horse with Rider’.

Alcobaça MMO1, Monteiro YF2, Bittencourt AS2, Assis Neto AC1

  1. Department of Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
  2. Plastination Laboratory, Life Sciences Museum, Federal University of Espírito Santo, Vitória, Brazil

The need for preservation and conservation of wild species arouses interest in obtaining more anatomical knowledge about these species. Thus, plastination is considered the gold standard for the preservation of dry specimens. This study includes the plastination of cross-sections of the crab-eating fox, a wild inhabitant of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The research was approved by the ethics committee (4143100220). Three specimens were anatomically positioned, fixed with 10% formaldehyde, frozen, and placed en bloc in polyurethane. They were then sectioned with thickness between 1.3 cm and immersed in a 10% hydrogen peroxide bleaching solution. Subsequently, the plastination protocol with silicone at low temperature was initiated according to the standard protocol, which included the stages of dehydration, forced impregnation, and curing. Approximately 170 plastinated sections per animal were obtained. The sections allow on both faces the identification of anatomical structures and relations, in addition to the anatomical sequence of the specimens. The results of this study corroborate other studies that advocate plastination as a useful tool to evidence important structures for surgeries, pre-surgical studies, and a better understanding of the surgical area. Additionally, this material is an aid to the study of veterinarians, as well as for students of health sciences and related areas and medical students. Plastination can be applied to preserve the most varied human, animal, and plant tissues, it is extremely useful for both teaching and science, combining the student and the lay public. Thus, the present study contributes to scientific knowledge, producing a rich material of a wild species, which is not recorded in the literature of such anatomy in axial sections, enabling a comparison with the other wild canids and domestic canines, among several other possible applications. We thank the funding agencies Capes, CNPq and ProEx-UFES.

Aldape B1, Dieguez L1, Candanosa IE2

  1. Faculty of Dentistry, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico City, Mexico
  2. Highlands Teaching and Research Farm, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UNAM, Tequisquiapan, México

Introduction: The objective of this study was to apply the S10 plastination technique to 13 surgical specimens from an Oral Pathology private service and perform Cone Beam tomography. Materials and Methods: 13 surgical specimens were obtained from the oral pathology private service with diagnoses such as myxoma, ameloblastoma, and osteomyelitis, and the S10 plastination technique was used. Subsequently, Cone Bean tomography was performed for three-dimensional reconstruction and imaging description. Results: As a result, 13 specimens with excellent appearance were obtained and only two cases presented shrinkage of the specimen obtained. The specimens were evaluated with Cone Beam tomography, it was possible to perform three-dimensional reconstruction and imaging description, as well as descriptive records of the samples. Discussion: The background of S10 plastination in oral pathology is limited. There are reports in the literature of the S10 technique being used for specimens of ameloblastoma in the mandible, a melanoma in the maxilla, myxoma, and a dentigerous cyst, with good results. Since the specimens in the present study consisted mostly of bone tissue with soft tissue lesions and a low percentage of adipose tissue, shrinking was minimal. Cone Beam tomography will help in the teaching of maxillofacial reconstruction, which students can practice with the plastinated specimens, instead of using stereolithographic models which are the most common tool for prosthetic fabrication and surgical guide. Conclusion: S10 plastination allows direct handling of surgical specimens without compromising their structure, to display various lesions and observe their macroscopic features in detail. In addition, the specimens are didactic material, to use in practices during the training of doctors specializing in maxillofacial surgery.

Badilla N1, Quevedo MF1, Montecinos H1, Ottone NE2

  1. Undergraduate student, School of Dentistry, Universidad de la Frontera, Temuco, Chile
  2. Laboratory of Plastination and Anatomical Techniques, Faculty of Dentistry, CEMyQ, Universidad de la Frontera, Temuco, Chile

Introduction: Sheet plastination with polyester resin was created initially for the preservation of brain slices. This technique has the characteristic of allowing an excellent contrast between the gray and white matter. Plastination was created by Prof. Gunther von Hagens, in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1977, and its fundamental characteristic is the application of a vacuum to cause the impregnation with resins of the specimens subjected to the technique. The polyester resin, created by von Hagens, was called P40, and gives the name to the same technique. The aim of this work was to review the P40 sheet plastination technique, identifying the methods implemented by different authors to obtain plastinated sheets (2-4 mm) and determining their applications according to the tissue under study. Materials and Methods: A literature search was carried out in Pubmed, Scopus and ScIELO, using the search algorithm: (Polyester resin OR P40) AND (Plastination). Articles related to the P40 plastination technique were included, without restriction by year or language. Results: After the search, 50 records were found (Pubmed, n:15; Scopus, n:30; Scielo, n:5). Finally, 28 articles were included in this review (after duplicates and unrelated articles were excluded). The information was ordered according to the subject investigated, such as protocols, anatomical regions, morphological comparison, among other applications. Discussion: The original P40 sheet plastination technique was patented in 1986 by Gunther von Hagens, which is considered the standard method. P40 plastination was applied to anatomical regions other than the brain, by various researchers, finding unique characteristics that allowed the use of this technique for other purposes, both in the field of education and research. Research was also oriented to the development of new resins, different from the original P40, allowing very good results to be obtained. Conclusions: Although it was initially created for the preservation of brain slices, later, various researchers began to apply this resin for the preservation of slices from other body regions. In this work we identify the characteristics of different applied methods, as well as the main advantages and disadvantages of this technique.

Bernal V1, Aburto P1, Pérez B1, Gómez M1, Gutierrez JC2

  1. Institute of Pharmacology and Morphophysiology, Austral University of Chile, Chile
  2. Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Cell Biology, University of California, Davis, USA

Teaching veterinary anatomy has been subjected to changes and restrictions that have promoted the development of new techniques for preserving cadavers. Within them is the technique of plastination, resulting in dry, durable, odorless, and life-like specimens. However, the plastinated tissue is rigid and lacks natural elasticity, which is a disadvantage for the teaching-learning process. The Elnady technique is a recent method for the conservation of tissues. This technique is inexpensive and does not require patented chemicals and a specialized laboratory. Specimens produced are realistic, dry, soft, and flexible. However, one pitfall of the Elnady technique is unwanted tissue discoloration, which is detrimental to the end result. The objective of this study is to describe modifications to the Elnady technique. Such modifications allow for a more natural and realistic preserved biological specimen. Specimens (one equine heart, one canine heart, a dog specimen of thoracic and abdominal viscera, and two Chilean frogs) were prepared on the theoretical basis of the Elnady technique, but at low temperatures (-5 to -10 °C) and with longer durations for the fixation, dehydration, glycerin impregnation and curing processes. Furthermore, the tissues were pigmented with a red vegetable pigment before dehydration or in the glycerin impregnation process. The results show flexible and high-quality specimens with minimal shrinkage and natural color aspects. The modified Elnady technique is adequate for producing specimens of better contrast for education purposes, useful in teaching endoscopic skills and biomechanics.

Borges Brum G, Ochoa O, Blanco C

Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Introduction: The plastination technique is a preservation technique described by Dr. Gunther Von Hagens in 1977. Among the techniques described is the one performed at room temperature, which was modified by Ottone et al. in 2015. Materials and Methods: In this work we used the modified room temperature plastination technique, and the reagents used were Biodur ® S10 silicone, Biodur ® S3 catalyst, and Biodur ® S6 for curing. These reagents were acquired by the Department of Anatomy of the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires in 2001. Together with the pump and the vacuum chamber that were used in the forced impregnation. Curing was done in a flexible chamber. A porcine heart, a canine fetus and a mare ovary were used, as well as thick sections of rat abdomen. Work was also done on a capuchin monkey head (Cebus capucinus) that had been fixed in 10% formaldehyde for a long time in the Anatomy Museum. Both in the canine fetus, the porcine heart and the mare's ovary, longitudinal or transverse section was performed, using or not prior fixation in formaldehyde solution. The fixed pieces were rinsed under running water for 1 day and then proceeded with cold dehydration with previously cooled acetone. Increasing concentrations were used over a period of 3 weeks. Once the specimen was dehydrated, it was kept in silicone for 2 days at room temperature and then continued with the impregnation in the vacuum chamber. It was allowed to drain for 24 hours outside the vacuum chamber and then continued removing the excess silicone with absorbent paper, before placing the specimen in the curing chamber with the hardener. Results: The results were evaluated by assessing the organoleptic characteristics of the pieces obtained. In all of them it was possible to preserve the macroscopic aspect, colors, and texture of the pieces. An acceptable level of shrinkage was recorded in all. Conclusion: The reagents used (S10, S3, S6) despite being over 22 years old showed great effectiveness since specimens with very good characteristics were achieved.

Borges Brum G, Ochoa O, Blanco C

Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

The plastination technique is a conservation technique described by Dr. Gunther Von Hagens in 1977. Among the techniques described is the plastination of sections with polyester resin. This work was carried out in 2022 in the Department of Anatomy of the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires. We used the plastination technique at room temperature with polyester resin; the reagents used were national polyester resin and its catalyst. The processed samples were bovine brain sections previously fixed for more than 6 months in a 10% formaldehyde solution. The cuts were made with a circular blade machine and with a thickness of approximately 5mm. The fixed brain slices were rinsed under running water for 24 hours and then proceeded with cold dehydration with previously cooled acetone. Increasing concentrations were used for one week. Once the specimens were dehydrated, they were force-impregnated, in the vacuum chamber, with resin without catalyst for 24 hours. The sections were then placed in a plastic tray between acetate plates with polyester resin mixed with its catalyst. A weight was placed on the acetate plates to prevent the sections from floating and generating air bubbles. The results were evaluated by assessing the organoleptic characteristics of the specimens obtained. In all of them it was possible to preserve the macroscopic aspect, colors and texture of the specimens. An acceptable level of shrinkage was recorded in all.

Carr C1, Cotner K2, Baptista CAC3, Frank PW3

  1. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA
  2. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA.
  3. Department of Medical Education, College of Medicine & Life Sciences, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA

Introduction: The neuroscience field has grown exponentially in the last 30 years. Over the same period, plastination has taken an active role in providing authentic teaching models to ensure the highest quality learning for students. Many scientists have successfully utilized staining techniques to identify gray matter structures within the nervous system. Prior attempts to stain white matter tracts have not yielded quality stained specimens. This investigation used a modified staining technique to stain white matter tracts in the human brain. Materials and Methods: Three 10% formalin-fixed normal human brains were obtained from the University of Toledo College of Medicine Body Donor program. They were prepared and dissected utilizing the Klingler protocol. Once dissected, two different histological stains (New Myelin Silver and Luxol FastBlue) were applied by brush to the isolated association and commissural tracts prior to cold-temperature acetone dehydration. The brains were then plastinated by the Von Hagens cold-temperature S10 technique. Results: The use of the novel white matter staining method produced high quality human brain specimens that identified the association and commissural tracts.

Chereminskiy V

Gubener Plastinate GmbH, Germany

The contribution of fascia and its elements to many areas of biomechanics and physiology has been underestimated over many years. Recently, the interest in research on fascia increased drastically and the range of research on fascia and fascia-related connective tissue includes biomechanics, innervation, vascularization, molecular structure, clinical relevance, etc. In order to represent the human fascial net as a three-dimensional anatomical structure in a highly educational setting, and under the guidance of some world leaders in this dynamic field, a collaboration was established between the Fascia Research Society, Body Worlds Exhibition (Heidelberg), and the Plastinarium (Guben). In this project we aspired to explain the functional concepts of the fascial tissues, emphasizing the continuity and myofascial force transmission, also exposing the clinically related features, such as musculo-elastic components, fascial compartments, fascial neuro-vascular sheaths as transmitters of the inflammatory processes, etc. Although the diversity of application of the plastination technique theoretically has no limits practically we experienced many challenges during the process of plastination. Plastination of the different types of connective tissue was performed according to the standard S10 plastination technique, initially described by Gunther von Hagens with some modifications adjusting the process for collagen-rich tissue plastination.

de Jong K

Center for Morphology, Zhejiang University Medical School, Hangzhou, China

The polymers used in plastination today are silicone, epoxy and polyester. Every single polymer has its own field of application, but the use of the different polymers is done by the same principle. Epoxy and polyester are used for thin (<5 mm) sections, where silicone is used for whole (3D) specimen and thick sections. The consecutive steps in all techniques are:

  1. Fixation and preparing (dissecting) the specimen;
  2. Dehydration of the specimen;
  3. Impregnation of the specimen with the polymer of choice
  4. Curing of the impregnated specimen

Fixation is best done with a solution of formalin, 3-6 pbv of a commercially available 37% solution of formaldehyde in water, in 97-94 pbv tap water, giving a 3-6% formalin solution. The fixative can be administered by submerging, infusion or vascular transfusing. Preparing sections can be done using a bandsaw for specimen containing bone, or a deli slicer for specimen containing only soft tissues. After sawing the saw dust must be removed carefully. 3D specimens need to be dissected as careful as possible, skin and subcutaneous and other fat must be removed as much as possible. Dehydration is performed by submerging in consecutive baths of acetone at -200 C, acetone vs specimen ratio is best 10:1. The acetone baths are stirred every day. When dehydration is complete the specimen can be kept in the acetone at RT for defatting. The acetone in the specimen is exchanged with the polymer of choice by submerging the specimen in the polymer, and gradually applying vacuum, thus boiling the acetone out of the specimen and dragging the polymer into the specimen. Impregnation is considered to be complete when acetone bubbles cease to rise to the surface of the impregnation bath. Curing of epoxy impregnated specimen start as soon as the impregnation mixture is mixes, so impregnation need to be performed quickly and curing needs to be done within hours after impregnation is stopped. Curing is finished by applying heat (40-450 C) for 2-3 days. Curing of polyester is done by applying UV-A light to the specimen in absence of oxygen, here for the specimen is “packed” in a flat chamber of 2 glass plates. Curing of silicone impregnated specimen is done by exposing the impregnated specimen to a gaseous cross-linker that will cure the specimen from the outside to the center, while the surface is regularly wiped clean to prevent the formation of silicone dimples on the surface of the specimen. Once the surface is dry and cured no further care has to be taken. Exposure to water (vapor) has to be avoided as this will form white crystals on the surface.

Gustilo, K1, Curran S1, Goldberg C1, Lohman Bonfiglio CM1, Frank PW2, Baptista CAC2, Stabio ME1

  1. Modern Human Anatomy Program, Department of Cell & Developmental Biology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO, USA
  2. Department of Medical Education, College of Medicine & Life Sciences, University of Toledo, USA

Introduction: With the transition to integrated anatomical curricula in professional programs, the use of traditional, region-based, human body dissection has decreased while the use of systems-based prosections has increased. Recent studies have demonstrated the value of such prosections but have only described partial systems. Here, two novel en bloc nervous and circulatory system extractions are described. Materials and Methods: Two embalmed cadaveric donors were obtained from the Colorado State Anatomical Board. Dissections were performed with common dissection tools without the use of polymer injection into the vessels prior to embalming. Best approaches, challenges, and time-saving strategies were recorded to create dissection guides. Plastination was performed using NCSX silicone (North Carolina) by cold temperature von Hagens’ silicone technique. Prior to dehydration specimens were attached to a non-flexible stainless-steel platform to avoid deformities. Dehydration was done with acetone at -25°C (three changes). Impregnation was performed under vacuum at -15ºC. After impregnation the stainless-steel platform was raised from the silicone, drained overnight, and transferred to room temperature. The specimens were pinned to a Styrofoam in anatomical position prior to curing. Custom Plexiglas displays were built to house the systems in 3D space. Results: The full nervous system including brain with eyes, spinal cord, and all major peripheral nerves was successfully extracted from one donor. The full cardiovascular system, including heart, liver, 390 named arteries and 63 named veins was extracted from another donor. The plastination process resulted in dry, odorless, and precise specimens that illustrate the complexity and continuity of full body systems. Discussion: This reimagination of traditional dissection techniques has generated new avenues for illustrating the human body for biomedical education, even in an established field such as gross anatomy. Conclusions: This project demonstrates the feasibility to dissect, extract, and plastinate full body systems en bloc for long-term educational use.

Guzman D1,2, Bianchi H3,4, del Sol M5,6, Ottone NE2,5,6

  1. Undergraduate student, School of Dentistry, Universidad de la Frontera, Temuco, Chile
  2. Laboratory of Plastination and Anatomical Techniques, Faculty of Dentistry, CEMyQ, Universidad de la Frontera, Temuco, Chile
  3. Departamento de Anatomía, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  4. Departamento de Anatomía, Fundación Barceló, Instituto Universitario de Ciencias de la Salud, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  5. Center of Excellence in Morphological and Surgical Studies (CEMyQ), Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco, Chile
  6. Doctoral Program in Morphological Sciences, Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco, Chile

Introduction: The study of human anatomical variations has an important application in the teaching of anatomy, since it allows students to understand the variability of the human body, but it is also of great importance in clinical and surgical training and practice. In turn, the application of plastination to human and animal biological samples will allow us to preserve the samples for an indefinite period of time and thus have them available for research and morphological analysis. The aim of this communication is to publicize arterial variations of the upper limb that present an important clinical-surgical correlate. Materials and Methods: Dissection of the upper limbs, right and left, of an adult male cadaver, fixed with 10% formalin and subjected to the S10 plastination technique, developed by Gunther von Hagens (1979, 1986). Results: In the right upper limb, it was possible to observe an origin of the ulnar artery at the axillary artery and a superficial arrangement throughout its course to the hand, crossing the bicipital aponeurosis and remaining superficial, passing above the flexor retinaculum and participating in the formation of a superficial palmar arch with an ulnar pattern. In the left upper limb, a normal origin of the ulnar and radial arteries was observed. But the radial artery emits, in the distal third of the forearm, a superficial branch that passes superior to the tendons of the anatomical snuffbox. The radial artery runs towards the 1st interosseous space where, before crossing it, it anastomoses with the aforementioned superficial branch, forming a vascular bridge. In this case, superficial palmar arch presents ulnar predominance. Discussion: If we see the literature, in relation to the disposition of the radial artery in the anatomical snuffbox of the left upper limb, there is no description in the literature, while the disposition of the ulnar artery with superior origin, and superficial disposition, has been evidenced in around the 8% of cases of variation. Conclusions: The notable importance of plastination in the conservation of samples is evident, for an indefinite period of time, especially in those countries where there is a shortage of human bodies and where it is necessary to promote the development of Human Donation. In this way, knowledge derived from anatomy dissection and plastination of biological samples can be related and applied to clinical and surgical practice.

Henry R

Lincoln Memorial University, Tennessee, USA

Plastination: Forty years of reality! This reality started nearly 40 years ago, almost back to when Dr. von Hagens was developing the plastination polymers and process. Along for the ride, it has been a most wonderful journey which has taken me around the World and met many of you or your colleagues along the way. Hopefully, today, this is much more than just a reality show but I want to show plastination progress. It all started in San Antonio in April 1982. Dr. Harmon Bickley put a program together to present an amazing preservation technique to North America - “Plastination”. Dr. von Hagens, of course, was the keynote speaker. Chalk and Blackboard were the lecture media and “did the dust fly”! The message of the meeting was “cold silicone plastination”. Some went home with “grand thoughts” and others with wonder. I was fortunate and purchased the small vacuum chamber and pump which von Hagens had brought as a demo. However, I used my own 30” vacuum gauge and 1/2” water gate valve to adjust vacuum. Probably most of us had no real idea of what was about to happen. So, polymer was ordered and specimens dissected, fixed, dehydrated in cold acetone and % acetone checked with an alcoholometer I found in the lab. I suspect only a few had any idea of the power that was inside that chamber and - the “great addition” to teaching and the force generated by near “0” mm Hg pressure or what toughened glass could do! A colleague suggested that he could build me another vacuum chamber for me with little cost from Plexiglass. It looked great, but I knew it would never work and before 5-inch decrease of pressure it began to creek and groan. Pressure was returned to atmosphere and it remains a curing chamber ever since after 38 years. Then epoxy came along for body slices and polyester for brains. Dr. Latorre came and we sliced an entire cat and impregnated with P40. Most impregnated slices turned out pretty good and are still on display in the Museum in Murcia. Along about this time in Hawaii, Dr. Marietta Nelson started plastination by using cold method silicone products (S10 + S3) at room temperature. Perfect specimens resulted as were produced in the deep freezer with the same impregnation-mixture. Hence the first room temperature was introduced. Interim and International meetings and workshops sprung up like Spring flowers. The society was formed and what an enthusiastic time. Plastination was on a roll around the World! New local polymers were concocted and the “real room temperature plastination was introduced which combined S10 plus S6 (cross-linker) as the impregnation-mix. Improved epoxy and polyester resins have been introduced; however, silicone remained the “Gold standard”. A less viscous polymer (S15) hit the market and was not such a hit even though it was considerably less viscous. Exhibitions and Teaching Specimens moved on as this process became more known. Silicone prices have not risen in 20 years. Several Countries now have their own silicone polymers available. A new revised silicone is not available which has its own red tint in it and helps specimens to have a nicer color. You are still getting in on the “cutting edge” of the “Plastination Hoorah”! Seize this opportunity to preserve normal anatomical specimens as well as, unique specimens. I really hope that your journey is just one-half as wonderful as mine. All the best!

Hurtado E, Pusselt K

Departamento de Ciencias Morfológicas, Universidad Evangélica de El Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador

Introduction: With the plastination technique implemented by von Hagens in 1977, the Faculty of Medicine and the Department of Morphological Sciences of the Evangelical University of El Salvador have taken it upon themselves to apply it. The plastination laboratory was designed and built; the reagents and equipment were obtained from BioDur® (Germany), two professors were certified at the University of Antioquia (Colombia). As a result of these actions, the first results have been obtained, which are presented in this manuscript. Materials and Methods: Refrigeration, freezer, impregnation and curing chambers, vacuum pump, digital thermometer, digital barometer, acetone meter, Biodur® S10 silicone, Biodur® S3 extender, Biodur® S6 chain crosslinker. Formalin 5%, acetone. Human anatomical parts: heart, spleen, pancreas, fetus, kidney, duodenum, brainstem and cerebellum. Anthropometric measurements were made with a scale meter. Technique: Fixation, with 5% formalin for two weeks. Specimens were then placed in the refrigerator for 2 days at -15°C. Dehydration followed, with four exchanges of 100% acetone every other day at -20°C. Impregnation, with mixture S10 / S3 (100:1), took place at room temperature. Impregnation began with 500 hPa for 24 hours, increasing to 204 hPa, then to 71 hPa, then to 38 hPa, to end with 6 hPa. Specimens were cured by spraying with S6 for 2 weeks. Results: The specimens preserved their morphology, coloration, and texture, as well as being dry and odorless, with an average shrinkage of 15%. Discussion: Our results are similar to others reported in the literature, regarding the dehydration group, with 99.9% acetone and at -15°C obtaining the best results compared to other groups, and in other conditions. Regarding coloration and texture, these were also similar to those previously reported in the literature. Conclusion: The plastinated anatomical specimens present the morphological conditions required for the academy, without presenting the hazards of formaldehyde.

Laguna-García I, López Albors O, Latorre RR

Department of Anatomy and Comparative Pathology, Veterinary Faculty, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain.

Introduction: From the eyes of a veterinary student, it is difficult to achieve the necessary skills to perform an ultrasound exploration in patients, which is partially caused by the difficulty of identifying the anatomical structures seen on the ultrasound image because there is evident neglect of accurate anatomical knowledge in the students of the last courses of the degree. We consider that by combining plastinated resources with diverse digital tools it is possible to favor the comprehension of the ultrasound images, while recalling the anatomical knowledge supporting them. This assumption has been tested in this work, aiming our focus to a common pathology in dogs, the dilated cardiomyopathy. Materials and Methods: Two silicone plastinated hearts were used. One came from a healthy dog and another from a dog suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy. Several digital programs were used to animate images obtained from plastinated specimens which, together with ultrasound images, were incorporated in a video tutorial. After having manipulated the plastinated specimens and visualized the tutorial, a satisfaction survey was distributed among the students of the last year. Results: The learning resource was evaluated by 30 students, who agreed it was clear, didactic, and useful for boosting the required anatomy in the ultrasound images of the dilated cardiomyopathy. Discussion: As demonstrated by previous studies in the literature, this study promotes the use of plastinated heart slices to better understand ultrasound imaging of the heart. Furthermore, digital objects can be used to create animated images of high learning potential. Conclusions: The combination of plastinated specimens with diverse digital tools demonstrates that it is possible to refresh anatomical knowledge, in favor of the comprehension of the echocardiographic images to diagnose the dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs, by final year degree students.

Lozanoff S

University of Hawaii School of Medicine, Hawaii, USA

An anatomy instructional workflow represents a systematic and effective process for converting face-to-face (F2F) to online learning activities which was necessary during the Covid pandemic. Workflows should consider acquisition of core competencies based on “patient types and clinical conditions that all students are expected to encounter” among others. A Willed Body Donation program provides a unique opportunity to achieve core competency since instructional experiences involving anatomical and pathologic learning objectives are based on the donor cohort from the local community. These workflows specify conversion of a portion of the gross laboratory to a sound stage studio for streaming dissection demonstrations as well as displaying 3D extended reality (XR) assets including illustrative and prosected models. Plastinations are conducive to photogrammetry for generating XR models that students download and manipulate. They are particularly useful for creating XR assets since plastinations can be easily handled during a live broadcast. During Covid, an anatomy workflow was used to develop a hybrid (blended) lab that accompanied an elective dissection laboratory experience at University of Hawaii. Online model accessions were recorded and compared (χ2, p < .01) to other educational resources. Student surveys showed that 92% of the medical students that electing to dissect preferred hybrid labs compared with other methods. Online models derived from plastinations were considered most/more preferred (54.3%) and received the highest number of accessions (μ= 250.7, p <.01) compared to other assets suggesting a broader preference as a learning resource. These results suggest that plastinations are effective for generating XR models that engage students and serve as an integral component of an anatomy instructional workflow.

Menezes FV1, Monteiro YV2,3, Silva MVF4, Miranda RP4, 3Bittencourt AS3

  1. Graduate Program in Anatomy of Domestic and Wild Animals-University of São Paulo/SP, Brazil
  2. Graduate Program in Biotechnology, Federal University of Espírito Santo, Vitória/ES, Brazil
  3. Department of Morphology, Federal University of Espírito Santo, Vitória/ES, Brazil
  4. Federal University of Espírito Santo, Brazil

The coloring of plastinated anatomical specimens has remained, over time, an object of discussion by several researchers, whose challenge is to establish the compatibility of inks and the silicone polymer used in plastination. The coloring aims to rescue the natural appearance of the specimens, contributing to the differentiation of structures and tissues and to the learning process of anatomy. The objective of this research was to develop a painting protocol for plastinated anatomical specimens from a paint produced at the Plastination Laboratory of the Federal University of Espirito Santo, whose results were promising. For this research, a group of (n=9) specimens of wild animals from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, victims of being run over and/or illegal hunting, plastinated by the Plastination Laboratory of the Federal University of Espirito Santo (CEUA No. 31/2019) were used. Three different shades of red were used to coloring the specimens, which were chosen according to the shade resulting from the tissue fixation in 10% formaldehyde, which may vary from specimen to specimen. It is noteworthy that for greater effectiveness in the result of the application of the paint, the most appropriate dissection criteria were evaluated, as well as the bleaching process with 10% hydrogen peroxide solution, under controlled supervision, for a period that varied from 2 to 4 days. The paint was applied with an artistic brush in the direction of the muscle bundles, especially the skeletal, thus differentiating them from other tissues such as ligaments, tendons, fascia, vessels, nerves and bones. In comparison to the use of industrial paints for painting plastinated specimens, it is observed that the paint obtained in the Plastination Laboratory has good fixation and color maintenance. Thus, the painting process of plastinated anatomical specimens requires a set of protocols ranging from dissection to the application of the paint itself, which will contribute to a better aesthetic presentation of the specimens.

Montecinos H1, Quevedo MF1, Badilla N1, Ottone NE2

  1. Undergraduate Student, School of Dentistry, Universidad de la Frontera, Temuco, Chile
  2. Laboratory of Plastination and Anatomical Techniques, CICO Research Center for Dental Sciences, School of Dentistry, Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco, Chile

Introduction: Plastination is an anatomical technique that consists of replacing the liquids and fat from fixed or fresh specimens, with reactive polymers by vacuum forced impregnation. Plastination was created by Prof. Gunther von Hagens, in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1977. Sheet plastination with E12 is based on epoxy polymers, and allows the production of transparent tissue sections, which can be thin (2-4 mm) or ultra-thin (less than 2 mm), without altering the original topography of the anatomical structures. The aim of this work was to review E12 sheet plastination techniques, identifying the methods implemented by different authors to obtain plastinated sheets and determining their applications according to the tissue under study. Materials and Methods: A literature search was carried out in Pubmed, Scopus, and ScIELO, using the search algorithm: (epoxy resin OR E12) AND (Plastination). Articles related to E12 sheet plastination, published from 2017, were included, continuing an earlier published review that included articles from the beginning of plastination until the year 2017. It was not filtered by language. Results: After the search, 135 records were found (Pubmed, n: 69; Scopus, n: 64; ScIELO, n: 2). Finally, 19 articles were included in this review (after duplicates and articles were excluded unrelated to the topic). The articles included were analyzed and variations were identified in the protocols applied with respect to the original technique, either in the resins, times, or thickness of the slices obtained, as well as the application of the technique in different anatomical regions, with different objectives. Discussion: The E12 sheet plastination technique was patented in 1982 by Prof. Gunther von Hagens and is considered the standard method. Over the years, different researchers have applied modifications in the protocols of this method, in order to obtain more efficient and effective results. In turn, other authors have used alternative plastination materials to the original E12 resin. Conclusions: E12 sheet plastination is an anatomical technique that allows anatomical structures to be preserved in situ, without modification of their arrangement, permitting detailed observation of their macroscopic and microscopic morphological characteristics thanks to the transparency it gives to the tissues, without the need for decalcification. Due to these characteristics, the E12 section plastination technique is indicated for anatomical and morphological research.

Moscol J

Universidad Nacional de Piura, Perú

Photogrammetry, a process known for more than a century, is used to study the shape in the most precise way and locate it with its three dimensions in space. That is to say, it shows us the objects and structures from their three sides, in their three dimensions. With the arrival of the digitalization of information, photogrammetry has made a great advance and its use has expanded to many other disciplines of science; thus, reaching anatomy. By capturing multiple images of the anatomical material, we use in teaching in such a way that the frames overlap each other on all four sides. Trying to obtain images of all the parts of the preparation to later process them, using software that searches for coincident points, a new image is created, structured by the sum of all the photos that have been taken of the preparation. In this way, we have a virtual 3D object on our computer; which we can not only visualize and manipulate, but also keep it in cyberspace and share it so that other users can use it. In the midst of our research, the pandemic struck us; a fact that, worldwide, forced us to close our laboratories. Teaching anatomy remotely, without the cadaver, was a challenge that forced us to prepare 3D material of our most emblematic anatomical pieces, to show them to the students. Thus, we were able to teach with the corpse in a virtual way, through a work project that we call the "Amphitheater at home". In this way, we believe that a new field has been opened to support the teaching of anatomy, in the postpandemic.

Olivier W, Roux L

Department of Anatomy and Physiology, University of Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

In Veterinary Anatomy, various species are studied.  Unfortunately, it is not possible to spend as much time as needed with the dissection of each species.  When dissecting the chicken, the students dissect a fresh specimen and the dissection only takes place during one four-hour practical.  To try and capture every aspect of the chicken, the plastination of a couple of chickens and their various organs took place. Firstly, the specimens were fixed in 10% formalin for seven to ten days, depending on the specimen. Various acetone baths were used for dehydration over a period of six weeks. Impregnation took place over a period of three weeks in S10. The specimens were cured with S6.  A peristaltic pump was used in some of the phases to make sure the intestines were rinsed properly and the chemicals penetrated the whole specimen as needed. In the curing phase of the “Digestive and reproductive tracts of the female domestic bird” a compressor was used to open the duodenum as well as the small intestines.  The specimen was plastinated and labelled. Three chicken hearts in different stages were dissected (one intact, one from the front, one from the back).  A muscle dissection was done on a whole chicken with its intestines intact.  When the dissection was complete, the chicken was cut in half with an oscillating saw and placed in S10.  While dissecting, the chicken was kept in acetone.  Another adult chicken was used for a skeleton.  All the muscle tissue was removed and the skeleton placed in formalin to fix.  After a week, the skeleton was placed in acetone for dehydration.  The whole idea with this skeleton was to show how the actual tendons and muscles keep the skeleton together. The “Ovary and reproductive tract of the female domestic fowl” was one of the other aspects covered in this project.  Now the students can at their own time view the chicken more intensely.

Ovando FD1, Candanosa AE2

  1. Departamento de Morfología, Área de anatomía, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Coyoacán CDMX, México
  2. Centro de Enseñanza, Investigación y Extensión en Producción Animal en Altiplano [CEIEPAA], Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Tequisquiapan, Querétaro México

Plastination is a technique for preserving anatomical specimens, which basically involves removing the tissue fluid and replacing it with a delicate method of impregnation with polymers such as silicone and polyester resin. The plastinated specimens have become a useful adjunct in the teaching of medicine and that can recognize the structures that constitute three-dimensional bodies. This technique has some disadvantages, such as loss of consistency and color. The objectives of this study were to establish the technical procedures for the recovery of color using imidazole combined with the methods of plastination in S10 and P40 in heads and brains of slaughtered domestic mammals with different methods. A total of 62 heads were processed with the technique of S10, and 14 brains with P40 technique, both with a control group. Specimens were photographed finishing the process of plastination. The images were analyzed by means of image -pro -plus program color RGB pattern. The data showed a statistically significant difference (P< 0.05) to compare the effect of the reagent and its relationship in the form of dyeing in the specimens treated with the S10 plus imidazole, but in the specimens treated with the P40 plus imidazole no statistically significant difference was found. In conclusion S10 plastination technique mixed with imidazole in organs with or without injury is a good alternative to help improve the appearance and observation of specimens. For plastination with P40, nervous tissue is one of the most difficult to carry out the restoration process of color due to shortage of blood vessels, therefore it is necessary to continue in the pursuit of a dye to differentiate between different anatomical structures present in the tissue.

Oxley da Rocha A

Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Proto Alegre,RS, Brazil

Despite its importance, the use of cadavers for the teaching and practice of anatomy faces difficulties in Brazil due to the lack of human bodies available for teaching. Thus, in Porto Alegre, at the Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre (UFCSPA), one of the pioneers in Brazil, the Body Donation Program for Teaching and Research in Anatomy (PDC) was created in 2008. This program aims to clarify the general population about the possibility of donating the body for teaching, voluntarily, in life. From the PDC, donations of human bodies necessary to meet the demands of the anatomy laboratory were received, being used as a tool for the study of human anatomy by undergraduate students of health careers. In addition, based on the greater availability of bodies for teaching, an extension course has been held annually, where undergraduate students deepen their knowledge of human anatomy and produce real anatomical pieces for use in practical classes and to be exhibited in the Anatomy Museum, which is an annual and temporary exhibition, aimed at public school students. And, as a result of these activities, at the end of each year the Body Donor Tribute Ceremony is held, when the students have the opportunity to thank the families for the noble gesture of the donors. All these activities are interconnected and organized together in order to qualify the teaching of anatomy, in addition to enabling the use of this material for research and extension, demonstrating the good results of the Body Donation Program.

Pathak A, Farooqui MM, Prakash A

Department of Veterinary Anatomy, College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Pashu Chikitsa Vigyan Vishwavidyalaya Evam Go Anusanshan Sansthan (DUVASU), Mathura, India

Introduction: Specimens are very important for teaching and learning process of anatomy.  Traditionally, formalin was used for preservation of carcasses and organs, but it caused a burning sensation in the eyes, nose and throat of the handler. It also changed the color and caused hardening of specimens. Therefore, an attempt has been made to spare formalin and, instead, use glycerin for the preservation of specimens, which is safe for both the handler and specimen. Materials and Methods: Five samples of buffalo brain were collected from a local abattoir, and fixed in 10% formalin for two months. After complete fixation, the meninges were removed meticulously and overnight washing in slow running tap water was given to remove excess formalin. The specimens were then passed through ascending grades of acetone (99.0%) for complete dehydration. The specimens were then transferred to three changes of glycerin (99.5%). After complete impregnation with glycerin, the specimens were put into a sieve for drainage of excess glycerin. Results: No hardness or shrinkage in the specimen was observed after dehydration, however, its color was only slightly changed from the natural here. The specimen was slightly sticky to touch also, when fresh, but it dried (normal) with passage of some time. Conclusions: Thus, the clean, odorless, non-toxic, portable and durable teaching specimens can be prepared by using glycerin instead of formalin, which gives an unpleasant feeling, causes irritation to the mucosa of the eyes, nose and throat and hardening of skin of handlers. The specimens preserved in formalin are also difficult to transport from one place to another particularly due to its unpleasant, irritant odor. Grant Support: The authors sincerely thank to Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) for providing funds for the development of infrastructure and facility to carry out this research.

Popp AI1,2, Lodovichi MV2, Castillo D1,2, Sidorkewicj NS1,2, Casanave EB1,2

  1. Instituto de Ciencias Biológicas y Biomédicas del Sur (INBIOSUR-CONICET), Argentina.
  2. Departamento de Biología, Bioquímica y Farmacia, Universidad Nacional del Sur, Argentina.

Introduction: Plastination implies the need to have an enclosure that meets certain structural characteristics. The objective of this work is to report our experience at the Universidad Nacional del Sur, for which a space was modified to transform it into a laboratory suitable for this purpose. Materials and Methods: A space belonging to the University was used, which is separated from the other facilities. The original door was replaced by another hermetic and anti-panic one, made of aluminum. The electrical circuit was modified, removing outlets and installing LED lighting and touch switches (explosion proof). Extractors with filters for organic vapors were installed. For the forced impregnation phase, an epoxy-coated iron chamber with a reinforced glass lid was built. The motor of a horizontal freezer was extracted, which was installed in an external shed with ventilation, together with the vacuum pump of the chamber. A hot/cold air conditioner was also installed to carry out the plastination process at constant room temperature. Results: The adaptation of the space has allowed to successfully carry out the dehydration stage of the technique, in small organs (heart, kidneys and testicles of Wistar rats). It is expected to have the first cured samples for the second half of the current year, which will be used for research and teaching. Discussion: In recent years, our university is in the process of reducing the number of formalized specimens. In this sense, the establishment of a plastination laboratory that allows quality, safe and durable materials to be obtained is essential. Conclusions: The construction of a plastination laboratory entails a considerable expense, so the adaptation of pre-existing spaces in the institutions results in significant reductions in costs and time required. Our experience shows that alternatives in this regard are possible. Grants: PIP-CONICET 11220200101668CO; PICT-2020-SERIEA-03298, PGI 24/B332, Programa Prombio IF-2016-00614844-APN-SECPU#ME

Popp AI1,2, Lodovichi MV2, Sidorkewicj NS1,2, Castillo D1,2, Casanave EB1,2

  1. Instituto de Ciencias Biológicas y Biomédicas del Sur (INBIOSUR-CONICET), Argentina
  2. Departamento de Biología, Bioquímica y Farmacia, Universidad Nacional del Sur, Argentina

Introduction: Biological collections constitute unique repositories of biodiversity, but with few preparation protocols that ensure minimal long-term deterioration. Our objective was to evaluate the effects of different preparation techniques of skeletal material on the bone surface. Materials and Methods: 11 Wistar rat femur cleaning treatments were tested, consisting of burial (2 months) and combination of chemical agents (enzymes, EZ; potassium hydroxide, KOH), temperatures and exposure times: EZ-10% -25°C-70h; EZ-10%-70°C-2h; EZ-15%-25°C-70h; EZ-15%-70°C-2h; KOH-5%-25°C-1h; KOH-5%-25°C-2h; KOH-5%-40°C-1h; KOH-5%-40°C-2h; KOH-5%-40°C-4h; KOH-10%-40°C-2h. On images of the cleaned bones, obtained by scanning electron microscopy, bone integrity and the percentage of surface covered by soft tissues were evaluated. Results: The best results in terms of soft tissue removal were obtained by burial (100% clean bone surface), and with the KOH-10%-40°C-2h and KOH-5%-40°C-4h treatments (96 and 95%, respectively); however, in all of them there was superficial flaking, cracking and porosity. The other KOH combinations yielded less cleaning (20-81%), with less surface damage. In the enzymatic treatments, the bone structure was better but the removal achieved was less, observing a strong relationship with temperature (treatments at 70 °C: 69-80% of clean bone; treatments at 25 °C: 16-30%). Discussion: The treatments tested in this work are frequently used in scientific collections. The success obtained, in terms of cleaning and preserving the bone surface, was not homogeneous. The damage caused by burial and KOH on the bone surface coincided with that observed by other authors, although the enzymatic treatments left more tissue than previously reported. Conclusions: Our results reveal a consideration to be taken into account to obtain clean bones while preserving their surface. More combinations will be analyzed that will allow maximizing the cleanliness of the material minimizing its damage. Grants: PIP-CONICET 11220200101668CO; PICT-2020-SERIEA-03298, PGI 24/B332

Raoof A, Malyango A, Manyama M, Msuya C, Nassir N

Medical Education Division, Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, Qatar Foundation, P.O. Box 24144, Doha, Qatar

Introduction: Plastinated specimens are known to have superior teaching potential compared to that of specimens preserved in formalin for medical students. Medical students deem plastinated specimens as high-quality material that facilitates understanding as an adjunct to cadaveric dissection that makes learning efficient. Furthermore, plastinated specimens are reusable and portable, allowing it to be conveniently used in any small group tutorial or any lecture room with a long-term preservation potential3. At Weill Cornell Medicine, Qatar a full inventory of prosected anatomical donor specimens have been plastinated using the room temperature technique. The new specimens are heavily utilized in teaching anatomy to medical students particularly during the pandemic where access to cadavers was restricted. Currently, plastinated specimens are being used in wider context by being digitized to include in online teaching modules. Materials and Methods: Prosected specimens were prepared for the room temperature plastinated technique. Major neurovascular structures were painted to facilitate pattern recognition and understanding. Specimens have been used as adjuncts during regular anatomy lab sessions and photographed for use in developing online learning modules. Students’ satisfaction was assessed together with other new teaching measures through an online survey at the end of the anatomy course. Results: Faculty and students regularly used the new specimens during anatomy lab sessions and for the online learning modules. Satisfaction was relatively high with the new measures including the use of plastinated specimens. Discussion: The introduction of plastinated specimens generated a valuable resource particularly with the application of pandemic restrictions. The fact that faculty and students can handle the plastinated specimens and use in lab and lecture hall added to their instructional value. Painted neurovascular pathways had certainly augmented that potential. Conclusions: Plastinated specimens are becoming more essential to anatomy teaching. The incorporation into online learning modules add a newer dimension to their value.

Rodríguez Torrez VH1, Ottone NE2

  1. Department of Human Anatomy and Neuroanatomy, Medicine and Dentistry, Universidad Privada del Valle, La Paz, Bolivia
  2. Laboratory of Plastination and Anatomical Techniques, Faculty of Dentistry, CEMyQ, Universidad de la Frontera, Temuco, Chile

Introduction: Take advantage of the reduction of oxygenation in the plastination process, demonstrating the feasibility of the plastination process at room temperature at the height of La Paz. Materials and Methods: The present investigation was carried out in an experimental, observational, descriptive and comparative manner, for which we worked with an animal specimen in the Anatomy amphitheater of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the Universidad del Valle sub-Sede, La Paz. We proceeded to perform the fixation and dissection of the animal specimen to observe internal structures. Dehydration was carried out with acetone baths for one month and fifteen days. The forced impregnation was carried out in 5 days. The curing or hardening of the polymers was approximately 48 hours. Results: During the forced impregnation process we have not seen substantial changes in the cadaveric specimen, since the process was carried out at a moderate speed to avoid shrinkage and collapse of the structure. It is necessary to observe the impregnation times in other countries and compare these parameters, we are convinced that the height of the city of La Paz facilitates the process of forced impregnation. Discussion: It is important to observe the data offered by other researchers specifically in relation to the time used in the forced impregnation, this arose from several factors, such as the size of the structure under study. The time to use for forced impregnation is approximately fourteen, twenty-one, or thirty days. Conclusions: It is important to note that, in the city of La Paz, Bolivia, it was possible to develop the plastination technique, noting particularly that the forced impregnation step was developed substantially with ease and much taking advantage of the elevation of 4150 meters above sea level.

Schill VK

BIODUR® Products GmbH, Heidelberg, Germany.

This presentation is addressed to persons interested in starting plastination at their department. Proper planning will help starting successfully. Besides the overall space large enough for establishing a small, medium, or large plastination lab, you will need suitable auxiliaries and devices. Here, the respective equipment for individual plastination work steps is described: fixation, dehydration/dewatering, forced impregnation, and curing. While for some items improvisation is possible, for the core devices like the vacuum pump one should take no unnecessary risk by utilizing just any available pump. Normally, the freezers are the largest pieces of equipment and need adequate floor space. On the other hand, there are small auxiliaries like the needle valve which does not take a lot of money and does not need much space but nevertheless is of great importance for the impregnation process. Gas curing is very specific for silicone plastination. The curing agent is applied to the impregnated specimens in the gaseous state. Therefore, a special closed container is needed to create an atmosphere with high curing agent concentration inside. Besides the actual laboratory space, a storage room for solvent and other chemicals has to be provided, too.

Silva DJ

Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, Santiago, Chile

The "classical" taxidermy technique mainly recovers specimens of recent death or preserved in the freezer to transform them into scientific objects, giving them a "new life" within a natural history museum. In this technique, the skin is prepared, preserving it with preservatives or a tanning solution to mount it on a mannequin that recreates the volume and real positions of a living animal, serving as a resource for the dissemination of science, environmental issues, research and conservation. It allows obtaining, recovering and using the skin itself, muscle packs, organs, and skeleton of the same specimen for other preparations or studies. Several techniques have been developed for the maintenance and restoration of taxidermized specimens, with the aim of maintaining heritage collections so that research and exhibitions continue to benefit future generations. The National Museum of Natural History of Chile houses an important collection of taxidermized animals, most of them prepared from the 19th century to date.

Sora M-C

Center for Anatomy and Molecular Medicine, Sigmund Freud University of Vienna, Austria

Introduction: Computerized reconstruction of anatomical structures is becoming very useful for developing anatomical teaching modules and animations. Although databases exist consisting of serial sections derived from frozen cadaver material, plastination represents an alternate method for developing anatomical data useful for computerized reconstruction. The purpose of this study was to describe a method for developing a computerized model of different anatomical specimens by using plastinated slices. Materials and Methods: Different anatomical specimens (ankle, lumbar spine, skull, and shoulder joint) were used for this study. A tissue block containing the desired region was removed from the cadaver, then dehydrated, degreased, and finally impregnated with a resin mixture E12/ E6/ E600. Using a band saw, 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. After all contours were traced, the reconstruction was rendered and visualized. Results: The generated 3D models display a morphology corresponding qualitatively to the actual cadaver specimen. The quality of the reconstructed images appeared distinct, especially the spatial positions and complicated relationships of contiguous structures. Soft tissue features were easily seen when displayed with the bones positioned in the background. All reconstructed structures can be displayed in groups or as a whole and interactively rotated in 3D space. Conclusion: Plastination provides a useful alternative for generating anatomical databases. The reconstructed model can be used for residency education, testing an unusual surgery, and for the development of new surgical approaches.

Starchik D

Department of Human Morphology, North-western State Medical University, Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation

Modern medicine requires more detailed understanding of microanatomy. The epoxy plastination technique makes it possible to study small anatomical structures on body sections. Along with the standard technique, a modified technique for making sections from a cured anatomical block is often used recently. We tried to compare these two techniques in anatomical and clinical studies. The study was carried out on the organs and human body parts. The standard epoxy plastination technique (E12) consisted of 5 steps and included sawing, dehydration, degreasing, impregnation, embedding of slices in flat chambers, and curing. The modified epoxy technique (E12-M) was carried out in 8 stages and consisted of the dissection of an anatomical block, dehydration, degreasing, primary impregnation, curing of the anatomical block, sawing, secondary impregnation, embedding slices in flat chambers, and curing. The standard E12 technique could produce plastinated cuts with a thickness of at least 2 mm and an area of up to 3000 cm2. This technique allowed staining sections with histological stains after dehydration, but it gave poor results when examining metal implants in organs. The modified E12-M technique was more labor-intensive, but made sections with a thickness from 0.5 mm or more, but with limited area less than 50 cm2. Tissue staining with E12-M gave poor results, however, only with this technique it was possible to study small anatomical structures and metal construction, implanted in organs. Compared to the standard epoxy plastination technique, the modified technique is more complex, time consuming, and requires more experience and additional equipment. The section area with E12-M is limited by the size of the cured anatomical block. Therefore, this technique is rarely used in plastination laboratories. The E12 technique allows visualization of large objects and it is more applicable for educational purposes. The E12-M method is more laborious, but it opens up new opportunities for studying microanatomical structures and metal implants. Therefore, it is more interesting for clinical research.

Sui H-J

Dalian Medical University, Dalian, China

Plastination has become the gold standard for the preservation of anatomical specimens by replacing tissue fluid with a curable polymer. The longevity of plastinates is advantageous for the preservation of biological tissue, but especially for rare or unique specimens of inherent scientific and educational interest. Such was the case with the world’s first plastination of sperm whales. In 2016, two adult male sperm whales were stranded on the beach of Yangkou Port in Nantong City, Jiangsu Province, China. The local government planned to preserve two sperm whales by making specimens, one of which was entrusted to Dalian Hongfeng Biological Co., Ltd., the first sperm whale to be plastinated and preserved in world history. The plastination of a large marine mammal shows the mutual adaptability of its internal structure, living environment, and living habits. And the plastination process also provides a new method for studying the anatomy of large animals in the future. The plastinated sperm whales promise to be an enduring asset of tremendous scientific, educational and artistic value.

Toaquiza AB1, Alvear VE1, Velasco B2, Guanoluisa CA1, Morales C2, Revelo M1

  1. Laboratorio de Anatomía Animal, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Central del Ecuador – UCE, Quito, Ecuador
  2. Carrera de Ingeniería en Computación Gráfica, Facultad de Ingeniería y Ciencias Aplicadas, Universidad Central del Ecuador – UCE, Quito, Ecuado.

Introduction: Currently, training in the field of anatomy requires the implementation of information and communication technologies (ICT). Therefore, the objective of the work was to use digital images taken of plastinated canine brains and kidneys to create an interactive atlas that facilitates the teaching and learning of the anatomy of these organs. Materials and Methods: The work was carried out in 3 phases. In the first, canine brains and kidneys were obtained using the silicone plastination technique. In the second stage, photographs were taken, the images were edited with Adobe Photoshop and converted to SVG format using Adobe Illustrator. During the last phase, a 2-D atlas was created using MongoDB and Node.js for the backend, and Vue.js as the framework for the frontend. In addition, it was used to render the 3D models of the brain. Results: Publication of the "Interactive Atlas of the Canine Brain and Kidney". The atlas has interactive plates (fourteen of the brain and three of the kidney) and 3D models of the brain and kidney. Discussion: The teaching of anatomy supported by ICT allows students to be motivated and improve their ability to solve problems. For this reason, several universities have developed their own applications. The atlas developed here constitutes the first digital tool created in Ecuador that includes the 3D format.The use of three-dimensional visualization technologies has been shown to be a useful resource for teaching anatomical structures, especially the nervous system. In addition, the incorporation of the atlas in the teaching of veterinary anatomy would be in accordance with Education 3.0. Conclusion: The designed interactive atlas constitutes material for anatomical learning of canine organs in an innovative way and will allow students to achieve significant learning. Grant funding: Proyecto Senior DI-CONV-2019-026 financiando por la Dirección de Investigación de la UCE.

Tunali S

TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Anatomy, Ankara, Turkey.

Lecturing has been the predominant mode of instruction since universities were founded about a thousand years ago. Theories of learning that emphasize the need for students to construct their own understanding have challenged the theoretical underpinnings of the traditional, instructor-focused, “teaching by telling” approach. Exposition-centered methods impact student performance in undergraduate courses across the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Inclusive engagement, retention, and success of students in a rigorous curriculum is a universal priority for STEM education. Integrative thinking, as exemplified by the ability to confront complex problems using knowledge and tools of multiple disciplines, is a capacity increasingly critical to STEM. During the last ten years, we organized numerous educational activities where we hosted undergraduate medical students, high school students and secondary school students. Silicone plastination of the lamb hearts was at the core of all activities. The activities were planned in three different scenarios: two-hours compact courses, one-day courses, six 90-minutes sessions over 8-9 weeks. We reached more than 2000 students in total. The primary goals of our outreach plastination activities were to inform and excite students about health science as a potential career discipline; and to increase the awareness and relevance of health sciences in students’ daily lives. We had excellent results, especially in stimulation of enthusiasm of K-12 students about targeting health sciences as a potential career field and increase their awareness of science.

Zhang M

Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, Otago, New Zealand

Despite a wealth of macro-/microscopic anatomical data, mesoscopic anatomy has remained a blind spot of teaching and research. Mesoscopic examination involves details of biological systems in the context centered at tissues, and covered more than a whole organ or a set of cells. The aim of this lecture is to demonstrate how to use epoxy sheet plastination for mesoscopic research. Rat heads and human cadavers were prepared as epoxy sheet plastinated slices which were examined under a stereoscope and/or confocal microscope. All the studies presented were approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee in University of Otago. Two examples of the application of epoxy sheet plastination in neuroscience and clinical anatomy research will be presented. One is to investigate the precise anatomical connection between the peripheral and central auditory neural networks (“connectomes”) for the advancement of knowledge in auditory research and for technology translation in tinnitus treatment. Another is the establishment of a 3-dimensional somatotopic map of the trigeminal ganglion, which is essential for neurosurgeons to guide the precise positioning of the needle tip during percutaneous trigeminal rhizotomy for the patients with trigeminal neuralgia. Epoxy sheet plastination provides a powerful tool for mesoscopic examination as the size of a plastinated specimen can be up to the whole body but its structures can be visualized at a cellular or even subcellular level. Of morphological research techniques, epoxy sheet plastination technology has two unique features: (1) examination of the interface in situ between hard and soft tissues without decalcification and dissection, and (2) mesoscopic examination on the same slice. It can also combine with various pre-treatments (e.g., colored vascular casting) and posttreatments (e.g., various histochemistry staining, confocal microscopy). Epoxy sheet plastination is a revolutionary mesoscopic research tool.

Zheng F, Xu Z, Zhang M

Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Introduction: Ultra-thin epoxy sheet plastination is a novel technology for anatomical research involving dehydration, degreasing, impregnation, curing, and cutting. This study aimed to find an optimal temperature, duration of impregnation, and duration of curing of the epoxy resin block. Materials and Methods: Eight rat heads were randomly divided into groups A and B, with 4 in each group. After fixation, dehydration and degreasing, the rat heads were placed in a resin mixture in a vacuum chamber at room temperature (RT) for 5 days with pressure decreasing, and continued at 40 °C for further 4 days. After impregnation, group ‘A’ heads were placed in two molds and cured in a 45 °C or a 65 °C oven for 6 weeks, respectively. Group ‘B’ was prepared the same as Group ‘A’, except they were cured in a 65 °C oven for 14 days. The color, transparency, and hardness of the resin blocks were observed and recorded daily during the curing process. This study was approved by the ethics committee of our university. Results: RT-to-40 °C “two-phase impregnation” was used. The block in the 65 °C oven was hardened in 2 weeks, exhibiting good transparency. Discussion: A higher temperature is used at the end of impregnation to decrease the increasing viscosity of the resin mixture. Our RT-to-40 °C “two-phase impregnation” may suit epoxy resin block plastination of large specimens. Four days at 65 °C was normally used for hardening but it may not apply for large specimens, such as the whole pelvis or head. While hardening the block at 45 °C can ensure block transparency, its curing time is too long, particularly for a large specimen. Hardening at 65 °C accelerates the hardening procedure, but time needs to be well controlled. Conclusions: Curing at 65 °C for 10 days is recommended for the epoxy resin block. Longer than 10 days may result in a block with poor transparency.

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