Biology News
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Science Daily
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ABC Local
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Plastination of Anatomical Materials

Ann Arbor, Michigan - United States

Plastination is a process of preserving organic material. Water and fat in tissue are replaced with silicone in a process which, for most specimens, takes about one month. Preserved tissue is first dissected and then dehydrated with acetone. It is immersed in a silicone bath under vacuum until the replacement of acetone is completed. After plastination, the resulting tissue is safe to handle (i.e., toxic fixatives are eliminated), the tissue has no odor and it is extremely durable. Thus, the anatomical specimens are safer to use, more pleasant to use, and are much more durable and have a much longer shelf life.
Plastinated specimens can be repeatedly handled by students without deterioration and specimens can be stored as would any inert object. The plastination facility has processed a number of specimens that are now routinely used to great benefit in teaching gross anatomy and neuroanatomy. In addition, because of the durability and safety of plastinated specimens, they may be utilized in a much broader range of educational settings. For example, specimens of normal lung and lung tissue from smokers and victims of smoking-related cancer have been used in a number of elementary, middle and high schools across the state to promote the prevention of smoking. The goal of the plastination facility is to enhance the teaching resources of the Office of Medical Education and to provide plastination services to other departments and institutions.
Overall, plastinated specimens have been enthusiastically received both by our faculty and students mainly because they present many distinct advantages over traditionally preserved specimens. These include:
1) Excellent quality and durability
2) A reduction in toxic, noxious fumes, and
3) Greater flexibility of use both inside and outside of the classroom, including their ability to interface with computer software
In addition plastinated specimens prepared to demonstrate difficult structures and dissection areas have proved to be excellent review and testing materials.

About Our Lab

The Plastination Laboratory is a cost-for-service unit that produces excellent human specimens, with some very intricate dissections to users inside and outside the University. The facility is currently equiped to complete both standard silicone impregnation and epoxy sheet plastination. Users are encouraged to provide the lab with their own prepared specimens, but, where this is not possible, our Anatomical Donations Program can provide specimens for users to dissect and return to the laboratory for finishing. A thorough description of plastination and the advantages of using plastinated specimens in teaching and research is available from the excellent review article in Anat.

Plastination of Anatomical Materials
United States

A description of the process and its advantages.

Anatomical Record, The
United States

Official journal of the American Association of Anatomists, publishing new discoveries in the morphological aspects of molecular, cellular, systems, and evolutionary biology.

Wildlife Materials, Inc
United States

Manufacturers of animal radio collars and other locating devices for use with pets or in the field. Lists and describes product uses. Some items can be ordered online.

Anatomical Models
United States

Here you will see realistic plastic human Anatomical and Anatomy models of the; Brain,Eyes,Throat,Larynx,Ears,Neck, Spine, Skeleton,Thorax,Chest,Abdomen, Hand,Wrist,Elbow,Shoulder,Hip,Knee,Ankle,Foot,Leg,Arm,Heart,Lungs,Liver, Pancreas,Kidneys,Adrenals,Bladder,Reproductive organs,Male,Female,Muscles, Joints,Nerves,Spine,Skull and more. You can buy Normal and abnormal models made from the best materials available.There are Degenerated Spines,Vert

Anatomical Terms of Location
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Article from Wikipedia describing the complex terminology necessary to be used when describing the anatomy of animals in order to avoid confusion.

European Cells and Materials Journal

ECM offers free access to abstracts and full text in PDF of peer-reviewed papers. Provided as the official journal of Swiss Society for Biomaterials and Tissue and Cell Engineering Society. Includes online submission and related links.

Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland
United Kingdom

The learned society within the U.K. and Republic of Ireland for those concerned with research and education in the anatomical sciences.


Illustrates both the skeletal and muscular anatomy.

Oxford Materials Electron Microscopy And Microanalysis Portal
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The Department of Materials has a long and distinguished record of research in Electron Microscopy and Microanalysis, especially in the areas of technique development, defect analysis and high resolution microscopy. In addition, electron microscopy and microanalysis are an integral part of many research activities of other groups in the Department, including processing, polymers and ceramics, and there is a strong interaction with the modelling g

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Research to identify native plants that can help solve natural resource problems, including carbon sequestration, erosion reduction, wetland restoration, streambank protection, and coastal dune stabilization.