Plastic fantastic

October 23, 2008

More than 200 plasticised human body parts have been purchased to teach anatomy to medical students at the University of Warwick. The specimens have been bought from Gunther von Hagens, who is famous for displaying his preserved bodies in exhibitions around the world, with £400,000 in funding from the Strategic Health Authority. They were plasticised at von Hagens' facilities in Germany in a process that involves removing body fat and water, and impregnating the tissue with a polymer. Peter Abrahams, chair of clinical anatomy at Warwick Medical School, said it was the first time they had been used to teach at a UK university. He said: "Gunther von Hagens' plastination technique is the most effective and his specimens are of the highest quality. They will be an invaluable tool for the training of doctors."

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