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Plenary Speakers

The Science and Scope of Anatomy: Plastination, Research and Ethics
D Gareth Jones
Department of Anatomy and Bioethics Centre, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Anatomy enshrines so much of the traditional and well-established that great care has to be taken to ensure that its image is not confined to its past. Anatomy has both a proud and an ignominious history, and the task now is to learn from both aspects, a task that has scientific and ethical dimensions. One of the most exciting technical developments of recent years is plastination, a technique that presents anatomy with immense possibilities in both teaching and research. However, its potential to date has been hampered by its relatively limited use in research, by a range of ethical concerns, and by its widespread use in controversial commercial ventures. These developments confront anatomists with substantially new issues that tax their value systems at a number of levels.  The ways in which they respond will determine the future of anatomy as a discipline for many years to come.

Professor D Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones is Director of the Bioethics Centre and Professor of Anatomy at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, where he was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International) from 2005-2009. He is actively engaged in examining the ethical implications of the study of human tissue and the human body. A recent book of his in this area is Speaking for the Dead: The Human Body in Biology and Medicine (with Maja Whitaker, Ashgate, 2009). Recent articles include: Anatomy’s use of unclaimed bodies: Reasons against continued dependence on an ethically dubious practice, Clinical Anatomy, 2011) and The centrality of the dead human body for teaching and research: Social, cultural and ethical issues, South African Journal of Bioethics and Law, 2011).

 

Taking students on an anatomical journey: a multifaceted approach
Darrell J R Evans
Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex Campus, Brighton, United Kingdom

Are students getting the most out of their anatomical experience? With extensive changes to medical curricula it has been necessary to reassess the way we teach anatomy so students are well equipped for the challenges of a global community. Modification of courses has allowed inclusion of a variety of approaches and materials and provided the opportunity for innovation and creativity. The design of a distinct anatomical journey for students allows an exploration of ways to promote and stimulate anatomical learning using both traditional and contemporary teaching methods. A building block approach to learning integrated with other biomedical and clinical disciplines ensures form, function and clinical relevance are fully embedded. A varied format of delivery helps to include all students in the learning experience and encompass different learning needs for often diverse student populations. Variety is truly the spice of learning life.

Professor Darrell JR Evans
Darrell Evans is Associate Dean, Professor of Developmental Tissue Biology and Head of Anatomy at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Brighton, United Kingdom. Darrell's main biological research is directed at the development and repair of musculoskeletal tissues, but in addition he runs an active pedagogical research programme focussed on the development and analysis of innovative and interactive learning approaches in anatomical education. In recent years he has published on near-peer teaching, inclusion of multimedia approaches in anatomical curricula and developing opportunities for students to develop skills to communicate with different audiences. Darrell's passion for championing the amazing world of anatomy has led him to become engaged in a number of national and international public awareness of science activities.

 

Plastination in Modern Anatomy Teaching and Research
Beat M Riederer
Department of Cell Biology and Morphology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne , Switzerland

Plastination, or polymer impregnation, is especially useful for teaching human anatomy. Several key points such as legal, ethical and financial questions need to be addressed when it comes to body donations and a potential use of plastinates in teaching and research. Plastinated specimens are easy to handle and can be implemented in under-, postgraduate or continued anatomy education. A permanent preservation is also useful in clinical research and surgery. But the use of plastinates, even outside of the dissection hall, requires stricter ethical guidelines at national and international levels to prevent misconduct. A variety of applications will be presented and advantages and disadvantages are discussed. The combination of CT imaging of cadavers, with subsequent dissection and plastination allows to set up teaching modules for complex regions such as pelvic floor and to combine topographical anatomy with cross-sections and scanning images. So far we do not use the full potential of plastination to understand the different facettes of human anatomy.

Professor Beat M Riederer
Obtained in 1982 his PhD in Neurobiology at the University of Basel, Switzerland, followed by a postdotoctoral fellowship at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel and an assistant professor at the M.S. Hershey Med Center, PA, USA. Since 1988 teaching human anatomy for medical students, sports teachers, fitness instructors and continued medical education for surgeons and gynecologists at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. He runs the plastination facility and is head of the proteomics unit. Director and deputy editor of “Laboratory Animals”. Member of the ethic commission and director at the Platform Biology of the  Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences. Member of the Trans-European Pedagogic Research Group for Anatomical Sciences and delegate to the International Federation of Associations of Anatomists.

 

Cadaver Preservation Techniques for Clinical Anatomy - Pros & Cons

Andreas H. Weiglein
Institute of Anatomy, Medical University Graz, Graz, Austria, Europe.

Clinical anatomy is anatomy relevant and applicable in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in sick patients. Therefore, clinical anatomy developed in close relation with surgical and radiological techniques. Human anatomy does not change, however the view changes and creates the demand for a reliable overview of gross anatomy down to the ultra- structure for correct interpretation of medical images and real but microbiologically safe training models to test and train new invasive procedures. The most important step in preservation was the introduction of formalin by Blum in 1896. Disadvantages to formalin fixation include unnatural hardening and discoloration of tissues. In 1992, Thiel published an article on a new method of color preservation that preserved the human body in lifelike conditions (color and flexibility). In 1978 Gunther von Hagens invented plastination. This technique utilizes both impregnation and embedding, transforming the tissues into plastic with the respective mechanical properties. In conclusion it can be said, that no preservation technique is generally better than the others. However, if pros and cons are considered carefully, different preservation techniques serve different viewpoints of clinical anatomy.

Professor Andreas H. Weiglein
Andreas H. Weiglein is Professor of Anatomy and Vice Chair of Institute of Anatomy at Graz Medical University, Austria. He was the President of the European Association of Clinical Anatomy (EACA) from 2003 to 2009, the President of the International society for Plastination (ISP) from 1996 to 2004 and the Vice President of the ISP from 2004 to 2006. Andreas’s main research focuses on clinical radiological anatomy of the head and neck. He is also interested in postnatal development of the skull and dental implantology. He is the world-well-known expert on plastination and biomaterial preservation. Andreas has been actively engaged in anatomical education. He wrote Chapter 6: Head & Neck of Waldeyer’s Anatomy, 19th ed. 2012 and serviced on the International Advisory Board for NETTER Atlas of Human Anatomy, 5th ed, 2012.

 


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