• Alla "Leslava" Avramenko

BODY WORLDS

ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAVELLING EXHIBITIONS IN THE WORLD


© Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS, Institute for Plastination, Heidelberg, Germany, www.bodyworlds.com


The primary goal of the exhibition creators, Dr. Angelina Whalley and Dr. Gunther von Hagens, is preventive healthcare. Their BODY WORLDS exhibitions were conceived to educate the public about the inner workings of the human body and to show the effects of healthy and unhealthy lifestyles. Targeted mainly at a lay audience, the exhibitions are aimed to inspire visitors to become aware of the fragility of their bodies and to recognize the anatomical individual beauty inside each of us.

The exhibition intends to:

  • strengthen for one’s sense of health

  • show the potential and limits of the body

  • raise the question of the meaning of life.

Plastination technique.

Plastination is a process designed to preserve the body for educational and instructional purposes – in a more detailed way than ever before. Plastinates are dry, odorless, durable and are particularly valuable educational tools not only for medical professionals but also for a broader public. The process itself is relatively simple:

  1. Fixation and anatomical dissection. Formaldehyde or other preservation solutions are pumped through the arteries to kill all bacteria and to prevent the decomposition of the tissues. After that dissection starts.

  2. Removal of body fat and water. The water and soluble fats are dissolved from the body in a bath of acetone. Under freezing conditions, the acetone draws out all the water and replaces it inside the cells.

  3. Forced impregnation. Here specimen is placed in a bath of liquid polymer, such as silicone rubber, polyester or epoxy resin. By creating a vacuum, the acetone boils at a low temperature. As the acetone vaporizes and leaves the cells, it draws the liquid polymer in so that the polymer can penetrate every last cell.

  4. Positioning. After vacuum impregnation, the body is still flexible and can be positioned as desired. Every single anatomical structure is properly aligned and fixed with the help of wires, needles, clamps, and foam blocks.

  5. Curing (hardening). In the final step, the specimen is hardened. Depending on the polymer used, this is done with gas, light, or heat. Curing protects the plastinate against decomposition and decay. Dissection and Plastination of an entire body requires about 1,500 working hours and normally takes about one year to complete.


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