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UT to host international plastination conference July 9-12


The University of Toledo will be at the center of international plastination technology July 9-12, 2011.


Under the direction of Dr. Carlos Baptista, associate professor in the Department of Neurosciences, UT will host the 10th International Interim Conference on Plastination, which features oral presentations, poster sessions and three half-day workshops for scientists and researchers encompassing 23 countries and six continents.


Special exhibitions will be open to the public, as well.


“For four days, UT’s Health Science Campus will offer a dynamic exchange of technology and ideas in plastination,” said Baptista, who serves as president of the International Society for Plastination. “We’ve designed the conference for those who are novice in the technique of plastination; those who would like to familiarize themselves with the basicprinciples of plastination, and those who would like to receive direction in the implementation of these principles to establish a laboratory of plastination.”


Plastination is a technique by which bodies and body parts are preserved in plastic without destroying the composition and structure of the tissues. Plastinated specimens can be used as models and teaching tools for students in any field requiring gross anatomical studies. They also can be used for training students in medical procedures or to show what actual body parts look like in comparison to imaging tools, such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).


The conference opens Saturday, July 9, with an introduction and opening plenary session, followed by the keynote address of Dr. Gunther von Hagens, who invented the plastination technique in 1977. Von Hagens furtherdeveloped plastination techniques to preserve whole bodies and large animals, which were first displayed in Japan in 1995. Since then, he has exhibited throughout the world for researchers and teaching faculty, as well as everyday citizens. 


“We’re incredibly excited to introduce the public to this fascinating field,” Baptista said. “Dr. von Hagens’ keynote address will be open to the public, as will several exhibits from our noted scientists and researchers.”


Von Hagens’ address is slated for 8:30 a.m. Saturday, July 9, in the Auditorium (room 1000) of the Howard L. Collier Building on UT’s Health Science Campus.


A free exhibit of plastinated specimens from von Hagens, as well as other practitioners from around the world, is open for public viewing Saturday, July 9, and Sunday, July 10, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibit takes place in the lobby of the Center for Creative Education on UT’s Health Science Campus.  


On the Internet: Conference web site: http://isp.plastination.org/interim2011/index.html



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