BODIES 2.0: THE UNIVERSE WITHIN is a scientific, educational exhibit comprised of app. 200 specimens including whole body specimens that have been preserved using a method known as polymer impregnation.
BODIES 2.0: THE UNIVERSE WITHIN literally as well as figuratively goes “under the skin,” revealing the complexity of the human body and allowing visitors an up-close, 3-dimensional look at their inner make-up. Rather than use models of the human body, THE UNIVERSE WITHIN uses actual human bodies to provide the general public a look at what normally only doctors and scientists are allowed to see first-hand, making this a once in a lifetime experience.
The goal of BODIES 2.0: THE UNIVERSE WITHIN is that visitors leave with a deeper understanding of the body’s form and function and a stronger appreciation for staying fit and healthy.
Water and lipid tissues are replaced by curable polymers. Curable polymers used by polymer impregnation include silicone, epoxy and polyester-
copolymer. Requires four main steps:
The first step of polymer impregnation is fixation. This simply means that the body is embalmed, usually in a formaldehyde solution, in order to halt decomposition.
After any necessary dissections take place, the specimen is then placed in a bath of acetone. Under freezing conditions, the acetone draws out all the water and replaces it inside the cells.
In the third step, the specimen can then be placed in a bath of liquid polymer, such as silicone rubber, polyester or epoxy resin. By creating a vacuum, the acetone is made to boil. As the acetone vaporizes and leaves the cells, it draws the liquid polymer in behind it, leaving a cell filled with liquid plastic.
The plastic must then be cured, either with gas, heat, or UV light in order to harden it.
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