Plastination Facilities and services
Teaching of anatomy is mainly based on demonstrations using biological specimen. The current collection of specimen is very old and most specimen need to be replaced. We are now preparing new specimen that will be plastinated. In order to be able to plastinate these specimen, a plastination facility will be realized.
Plastination is a unique technique of tissue preservation developed by dr. Gunther von Hagens in Heidelberg, Germany in 1978. With the invention of plastination it has become possible to preserve decomposable specimen in a durable and lifelike manner.
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. More importantly, these specimen can also be used in educational settings outside the dissection hall.
In the plastination process, water and lipids in biological tissues are replaced by curable polymers specifically for this technique (silicone, epoxy, polyester) during four main steps: fixation, dehydration (tissue water and lipids are replaced by acetone), impregnation (vacuum forces the acetone out of and the polymer into the specimen), and hardening (the impregnated specimen is hardened by exposing it to a hardener). The type of polymer used determines the optical (transparent or opaque) and mechanical (flexible or firm) properties of the impregnated specimen.
Histology Facilities and services
In the histology lab of the Department of Anatomy tissue is prepared for qualitative and quantitative analysis. Most tissue is collected from experimental animal studies. These studies are performed at the central animal laboratory of Radboud University after approval of the animal experimental committee.
In addition, research is carried out on human tissue, this is in collaboration with the clinic (Department of Neurology, Department of Pathology, Department of Orthodontics and Oral Biology). Using histological techniques, we aim to demonstrate differences in morphology or in amount and/or location of specific proteins in these tissues. In this way, we hope to get more insight in several physiological processes.
For the conservation of the experimental animal tissue, we use the perfusion technique. In order to be able to do histology, the fixed tissue is cut in sections. Depending on the histological technique, we use a rotation microtome, sliding microtome, cryostat, vibrating blade microtome and/or an utramicrotome to slice the tissue. Besides the standard staining techniques, specific immunohistochemical stainings and in situ hybridisation techniques are performed in our lab.
By comparing the stained sections of different individuals with each other, differences between experimental groups can be elucidated. For the analysis, a computerized image analysis system is used (Neurolucida or Stereo Investigator, MicroBrightField). For the presentation of the results, equipment is available to make (digital) macro-and microphotographs.
The Department of Anatomy also houses the lecture rooms for pratical education.
Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
Geert Grooteplein 27
6525 EZ Nijmegen
Postal addressPost 109 Anatomy
P.O. Box 9101
6500 HB Nijmegen