The term 'Whole organ' Plastination is generally used for mentioning plastination of an organ or part of the body which is dissected and prepared to a specimen. This is the most used kind of plastination to preserve gross specimen and whole body.
Dehydrated dissected specimen/body is submerged in liquid silicone and acetone(dehydration agent) is extracted with the help of a plastination chamber. The time taken for forced impregnation will vary based on the size, nature and density of the specimen.
Silicone plastination will allow some degree of flexibility though not as formalin preserved wet specimens.
Silicone S-18 has lot more advantage than any other type of polymer. Even though silicone is available in various viscosity, color and grades, all silicone cannot be used for plastination. Special grade silicone developed exclusively for whole organ/full body plastination, like Plastodur-S18 give exemplary results.
a. Low viscosity- It is one major factor which considerably reduces time of forced impregnation. Silicone with high viscosity is not suitable for plastination. It will prolong time for impregnation indefinitely.
b. Optical quality- the transparent to translucent optical quality and refractive index before and after curing, which is close to water help retain natural color and texture of specimen.
c. Shrinkage- which is a major problem faced in plastination. Good plastination silicone will result in minimum shrinkage which is barely noticeable, keep the quality of specimen high.
d. Easy to polymerize- polymerization(curing) can achieved by various methods like spraying on surface, or saturating with vapor of curing agent.
e. Durability- Since cured silicone has indefinite life, a perfectly plastinated specimen has to technically last for ever. The water proof property of silicone will not let water into the specimen once it is completely cured. This prevents growth of micro-organisms and fungus. These specimens can be even washed with detergent and water.
f. Non toxic- Once cured, silicone is odorless and non toxic. It will not produce any skin or eye irritation.
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