Vacuum forced tissue impregnation is the signature step of the plastination process. It requires polymers with a low vapour pressure, low viscosity and a long pot life. Plastination polymers are a compromise between these mandatory requirements on the one hand and various secondary demands such as specimen stability, resistance to UV light and defined light refraction index on the other hand. Combining different polymers in one plastinate instead of using one plastination polymer alone can result in improved specimens for exhibitions and teaching including hands‐on use for students. The aim of this study was to assess the range of possible sheet plastinate modifications and how the resulting multiple polymer plastinates can fulfil the secondary requirements of user‐friendly plastinates. Adding sub‐steps of tissue impregnation and processing to the standard plastination protocol allows combining different polymer properties including the use of substances which are not suitable for conventional plastination as such but have better properties than plastination polymers. Advantages like resistance to UV light and mechanical stability can be combined and characteristic disadvantages of plastination polymers can be avoided. Acrylic protection layers (APL) offer a complete protection of the specimen in combination with advanced presentation possibilities and the option of completely refurbishing valuable specimens. Hybrid sheet plastinates provide lower preparation cost and polymer–tissue interactions for an improved visualization of fat, nerves and brain tissue. Selective impregnation is a promising approach for the clearer differentiation of various structures and tissue types.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.