Africa Speaks Reasoning Forum

SCIENCE, SOCIOLOGY, RELIGION => Science and Technology => Topic started by: Tracey on December 09, 2004, 09:18:16 PM

Title: Body Plastination
Post by: Tracey on December 09, 2004, 09:18:16 PM
 Preservation by Plastination

Decay is a considerable impediment to morphological studies. Therefore scientists have been searching for centuries for suitable preservation techniques. With the invention of plastination it has become possible to preserve decomposable specimen in a durable and lifelike manner for instructional, research, and demonstration purposes. During a vacuum process biological specimens are impregnated with a reactive polymer developed specifically for this technique. The class of polymer used determines the mechanical (flexible or hard) and optical (transparent or opaque) properties of the preserved specimen. Plastinated specimen are dry and odourless; they retain their natural surface relief and are identical with their state prior to preservation down to the microscopic level; even microscopic examinations are still possible.

The plastination technique replaces bodily fluids and fat with reactive polymers, such as silicone rubber, epoxy resins, or polyester: in a first phase solvent gradually replaces bodily fluids in a cold solvent bath (freeze substitution). After dehydration the specimen is put in a solvent bath at room temperature for defatting. The dehydrated and defatted specimen is then placed into a polymer solution. The solvent is then brought to a boil in a vacuum and continuously extracted from the specimen; the evaporating solvent creates a volume deficit within the specimen drawing the polymer gradually into the tissue. After the process of forced impregnation the specimen is cured with gas, light, or heat, depending on the type of polymer used.

"Slice plastination" is a special variation of this preservation technique. When applying this method, whole bodies or body parts (mostly deep-frozen) are first cut or sawed into 2-8 mm thick slices. These slices are then placed between wire nettings, where they are dehydrated, defatted and finally saturated with polymers in a vacuum. The impregnated slices are cured between sheets of film or casted with additional polymers in a flat chamber composed of glass plates to give them a smooth surface. The refraction index of the applied resins determines the optical properties of plastinated body slices. Body and organ slices produced with epoxy resins result in transparent specimens with good coloration of individual tissues; polyester resins permit an excellent distinction between white and grey brain matter and are thus used for the plastination of brain slices.

Plastinated organs and body slices are a novel teaching aid for cross-sectional anatomy which is gradually gaining importance and can be easily correlated with radiological imaging. Series of transparent body slices are helpful for manifold scientific research activities. In addition, they are a suitable diagnostic means in pathology, as they allow rapid macroscopic and diagnostic screening of entire organs or operation preparations; they still allow for selective analyses of pathological tissue regions with conventional microscopic methods.

Gunther von Hagens invented plastination at the Institute for Anatomy at Heidelberg University in 1978 and has developed it further ever since. Plastination has gained general acceptance and is carried out in many institutions throughout the world. Particularly the hard-weariness, dura-bility, and lifelike state of plastinated specimens as well as their high instructional value have contributed to this acceptance.

Title: Re: Body Plastination
Post by: Tracey on December 09, 2004, 09:18:49 PM
Real Bodies from donors are used for this exhibit which is currently being viewed in LA before heading to Asia

Body Donation for Plastination

All anatomical specimens on display in the BODY WORLDS exhibition are authentic. They belonged to persons who declared during their lifetime that their bodies should be made available after their deaths for the qualification of physicians and the instruction of laypersons. Many donors underscore that by donating their body, they want to be useful to others even after their death. Their selfless donations allow us to gain unique insights into human bodies, which have thus far been reserved for physicians at best. Therefore, we wish to thank the 6000 living and 300 deceased body donors.

Dr. Gunther von Hagens, the inventor of plastination and mind behind the BODY WORLDS Exhibition, has set up body donation programs in various countries he works in. The main body donation program is currently based at the Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg, Germany. Dr. von Hagens is in the process of establishing a US body donation program, which will be very similar to its European equivalent.

Body donation for plastination purposes constitutes a declaration of will, which may be revoked at any time. Before signing a declaration of intent to donate their body, all body donors are provided with detailed information. An information brochure published precisely for this purpose informs donors about the plastination technique, the history of body donation for plastination, information on the Institute for Plastination, how to become a body donor, what happens with the body at the Institute after death, and how the plastinates are used. Please find below a link to the European body donation brochure, which is soon to be updated for the American body donation program.

Title: Body Plastination
Post by: jemba on February 26, 2005, 04:06:42 PM
Very sick people!! If a person is dead then the flesh is dead. This is what happens if you only live and nourish the body. You become spiritually incline and bound by your senses and very scared of death, especially if you donít believe in nourishing your spirit.  

Title: Re: Body Plastination
Post by: Tracey on February 26, 2005, 06:35:28 PM
Actually, plastination is a very fascinating technology, particularly for students of anatomy and physiology. Those who do bodywork and work with muscles, bones, tissues, ligaments and overall bodily systems benefit greatly from this study. It is a real human body as opposed to anatomical drawings currently used in medical text books.

Medical students often use "cadavers" to learn from. But today, there are many different kinds of bodyworkers, so this process avails a more in-depth study for students who don't neccesitate the use of a cadaver but who still work with various parts of the inner body/systems.

Plastination is not a process to preserve the body for the sake of holding onto the living nor to attain some sort of "afterlife" experience. It is simply a process of preservation for anatomical/physiological research and study.

Title: Re: Body Plastination
Post by: Tracey on February 26, 2005, 10:50:03 PM
I just caught another glimpse of meaning here. Yes, If the spirit is not nourished; truly the flesh will reflect that as well.

Title: Body Plastination
Post by: jemba on February 27, 2005, 12:49:56 PM
Hotep-Sister or yaya

I just believe there is over ways in which humans can heal themselves.
It is very important to study the human body, but the Europeans only have one point of view in life, which means they have a fear of death and treat it like the unknown.
I thought you were talking about experiments to resuscitate the body after the spirit had left the shell.