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Research and Development in Medical Education
   eISSN: 2322-2719  
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Article History
Submitted: 16 Dec 2017
Revised: 09 Mar 2018
Accepted: 10 Mar 2018
First published online: 30 Jun 2018

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Res Dev Med Edu. 2018;7(1):3-7 doi: 10.15171/rdme.2018.002

Plastinates: Possible Tool for Medical Education in the Near Future: Mini Review


Nathan Isaac Dibal 1 * , Sani Hyedima Garba 1, Tamunotonye Watson Jacks 1

1 Department of Human Anatomy, College of Medical Sciences, University of Maiduguri, PMB 1069 Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria


Background: The objective of this paper is to describe the various types of plastination techniques and their application in medical education.

Methods: Articles were searched from internet databases using search terms such as medical education, plastination, plastination techniques, embalming, cryopreservation, etc. Articles that met the selection criteria were selected for the review.

Results: The search result showed that Plastination is a technique that uses curable polymersto replace body fluids in order to prevent decay and deterioration. The plastination technique was invented by Gunther von Hagens in 1977. The plastination technique is divided into four types based on the type of polymer used for impregnation: silicon impregnated specimens,specimens produced with polymerizing emulsions, transparent body or organ slices, and opaque brain slices. The technique consists of four steps: fixation, dehydration or defatting,forced impregnation in a vacuum, and curing or hardening.

Conclusion: Plastinates, products of plastination, are used for teaching and research purposes.Because of their flexibility, resilience and transparent nature as well as the ability to carry them to class rooms, they can be used to replace formalin-preserved specimens in medical education.

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