Presentation Title

Preparation and Preservation of Donated Human Skeletal Remains with the use of Dermestid Beetles, Maceration, and Acryloid B-72 Polymer

Project Collaborators

Dr. Gary Mawe (Mentor), Elizabeth McLeod (Collaborator), Anna Whaley (Collaborator)

Abstract

The acquisition of high quality, ethically sourced human skeletal remains for the purposes of education has historically been a difficult and expensive process. Following the closure of major skeletal processing plants in Asia, the main source of anatomical teaching skeletons, American and European universities have been forced to use their existing skeletal teaching collections to the point of irreparable damage. Using Larner College of Medicine’s already established Anatomical Gifts Program, high quality teaching skeletal specimens were produced using a novel process involving both Dermestid beetle treatment and warm water maceration. Resulting bones were then degreased, whitened, and preserved using acryloid B-72 polymer. This preservation method was found to be successful in maintaining the integrity of pathological specimens, which is important considering the average donor population. This process resulted in high quality, ethically sourced human skeletal remains for the classrooms of Larner College of Medicine and can be replicated at any university with a pre-established anatomical gifts donation program.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Dr. Gary Mawe

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Anthropology

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

Second Program/Major

Biological Science

Secondary Research Category

Health Sciences

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Preparation and Preservation of Donated Human Skeletal Remains with the use of Dermestid Beetles, Maceration, and Acryloid B-72 Polymer

The acquisition of high quality, ethically sourced human skeletal remains for the purposes of education has historically been a difficult and expensive process. Following the closure of major skeletal processing plants in Asia, the main source of anatomical teaching skeletons, American and European universities have been forced to use their existing skeletal teaching collections to the point of irreparable damage. Using Larner College of Medicine’s already established Anatomical Gifts Program, high quality teaching skeletal specimens were produced using a novel process involving both Dermestid beetle treatment and warm water maceration. Resulting bones were then degreased, whitened, and preserved using acryloid B-72 polymer. This preservation method was found to be successful in maintaining the integrity of pathological specimens, which is important considering the average donor population. This process resulted in high quality, ethically sourced human skeletal remains for the classrooms of Larner College of Medicine and can be replicated at any university with a pre-established anatomical gifts donation program.