In 1977 Gunther von Hagens invented and patented the process known as plastination. He was born Gunther Liebchen in Poland, 1945. He received a doctrate from the University of Heidelberg in 1975 where he worked in the institute of Anatomy and Pathology until 1995.
He is visiting professor in Dalian, northeastern China, and a guest professor at New York University College of Dentistry. He developed the Body Worlds exhibition that went on tour in 1995 and stimulated both public interest and controversy. In 2002 von Hagens performed a controversial televised autopsy in London. He remains a controversial figure.
During the process of plastination about 70% of the body (mainly fluid and fat) are replaced by polymers such as silicone rubber or polyester resin, using a special vacuum process. Using plastination, it is now possible to preserve natural anatomical specimens and even whole bodies. The results are durable, realistic and aesthetic and can be used for teaching and research purposes, and, as this exhibition demonstrates, for general education.
For the current running exhibition, please visit www.amazingbodies.com.au