Plasination was originally developed in the 1970’s by Dr Gunther von Hagens, as a technique for the preservation of soft tissue for scientific research. By replacing the body fluids with a curable liquid polymer, the specimen is permanently preserved, clean, non-toxic, dry and robust. Dr von Hagens has since diversified to using the process on entire human beings which are then often skinned, dissected to a certain degree, and then displayed, doing day to day tasks such as riding a bike or running. Describing the purpose of his work as “educational”, over the last two decades, more than 20 million people have seen his numerous exhibitions around the world.
“The invention of plastination is an aesthetically sensitive method of preserving meticulously dissected anatomical specimens and even entire bodies as permanent, life-like materials” Dr Von Hagens explained. “Human transience is countered by a need as old as humanity itself: the longing to be immortalised.”
With this in mind, thousands of people have entered their names on the body doner register for Plastination, but with an entire body taking up to 1,500 man hours to complete, the majority could be waiting some time.
You can find out more about Dr Gunther’s work, including upcoming exhibition dates and locations at www.bodyworlds.com