BLACKBURN BUILDING, UNIVERSITY OF
THE EXHIBITION AREA
i.The Exhibition area of the Medical Museum is divided into
various sections.The main sections are:
a. History of Medicine Section
b. NormalAnatomy Section
c. Morbid (pathological) Anatomy Section
d. Histology Section
e. Haematopathology Section
f. Radiology and Osteology Section
g. Microbiology and Parasitology Section
h. Interactive Corners
DIVISION / PARTS OF MUSEUM
EVOLUTION OF PATHOLOGY-
Depicts history of pathology
Dealt by displaying portraits of well known
SYSTEM ORIENTED DISPLAY
Specimens arranged in divisions on steel racks in a systematic
It should have a code number
Various aspects of a disease displayed at one place
RECENT SPECIMEN DISPLAY
Fresh specimens displayed after grossing but before
Placed at the entrance of museum with all available information
about the patient
Learner can personally handle and feel the specimen
Urine samples, CSF, blood samples etc. in various diseases also preserved
Invented by G. von Hagens
Specimen produced are dry, odourless, near normal in colour and can be
kept outside with no bad effects of atmosphere
MUSEUM ON CURRENT TOPICS
A section of museum should be developed to display current topics-
AIDS, family planning etc
PANEL OF SIMILIES
Diseased organs compared with familiar objects
BASIC MUSEUM TECHNIQUES
Any specimens for museum are handled by following steps:
Reception of the Specimen
Any specimen received in the museum should be recorded in a
Reception bookand given a number followed by year (e.g.
This number will stay with specimen even after it is catalogued
in its respective place. written on tie-on type label in indelible
ink and is firmly attached or stitched to the specimen.
The reception book should contain all necessary information
about the specimen (clinical, gross and microscopic findings).
Preparation of the specimen
An ideal specimen is received fresh in unfixed state. However, it
is mostly obtained from pathology laboratory after being
examined, thus will already be formalin fixed.
If planning to use a specimen for museum, part of it can be
kept without disturbing for museum, e.g. in kidney it can be
bisected and one half kept aside for museum.
PREPARATION OF SPECIMEN
Specimen can be obtained from:
Directly from operation theatre
CUTTING OF SPECIMEN:
FIXATION OF SPECIMEN
Once tissues are removed from the body, they undergo a
process of self -destruction or autolysis which is initiated soon
after cell death by the action of intracellular enzymes causing
the breakdown of protein and eventual liquefaction of the cell.
The objective of fixation is to preserve cells and tissue
constituents in as close a life-like state as possible and to allow
them to undergo further preparative procedures without
Fixation arrests autolysis and bacterial decomposition and
stabilizes the cellular and tissue constituents.
Prior to mounting, specimens should be trimmed according to
specifications and fixed in fixatives to avoid decomposition or
The volume of the fixative should be 10 times the volume of
Insufficient amount of fixative used results in cloudiness of
The colour of the specimens would not be the same and varies
from its natural colour.
iii. Specimens should be suspended in the fixative and avoid
contacting with the Perspex container.This is to ensure good
condition of the specimen.
Penetration rate of the fixative into some organs such as liver,
kidney,and spleen are very slow.
This can be overcome by direct injection of fixative.
Basically, 10% formalin is used. However, modified solution
contains some additives to improve specimens displayed.
Examples of some of the methods are Romhanyi’s
Method,Wenthworth’s Method, and Kaiserling’s Method.
Most fixatives used today in museums are based on a formalin
fixation technique derived by Kaiserling (1897)..
Kaiserling recommended that the initial fixation be a neutral
formalin (KI) solution and then transferred to a final preserving
glycerin solution (KIII) for long term display.
Colour preservation is also maintained with these solutions
Fixation of specimen:
The specimen needs to be kept in a large enough container
which can accommodate specimen along with 3-4 times
volume of fixative.
Specimen is stored in the Kaiserling I Solution for 1 month
depending on the size of the specimen.
The specimen should not rest on bottom or an artificial flat
surface will be produced on hardening due to fixation.
Kaiserling I Solution:
Potassium acetate 45 g.
Potassium nitrate 25 g.
Distilled water Make up to 10 litres
Restoration of specimen
It is required to restore the specimens, as they lose their natural
color on fixation.
The recommended method is the Kaiserling II method.
It involves removing the specimen, washing it in running water
and transferring to 95% alcohol for 10 minutes to 1hour
depending on the size of specimen.
The specimen is then kept and observed for color change for
around 1- 1.5 hrs.After this step, specimen is ready for
Kaiserling II Solution:
*Store specimen in this solution for 10 minutes to 1 hour
depending on size of specimen.
Pyridine 100 ml
Sodium hydrosulphite 100 gm
Distilled water 4 litres
*Formalin decreases the natural colour of the specimen.
However, rejuvenator solution restores the colour.
Preservation of specimen
The recommended solution for this step is Kaiserling III.This is
the final solution in which the specimen will remain for display.
It is based on glycerine solution.
Kaiserling III Solution:
Potassium acetate 1416 g.
Glycerine 4 litres
Distilled water Make up to 10 litres
Thymol crystals added to prevent moulds.
*Leave solution to stand for 2 – 3 days before using to ensure
proper mixing of chemicals.
Add 1% pyridine as stabilizer.This solution acts as permanent
Presentation of the Specimen
Initially all museum specimens were mounted in cylindrical jars
and sealed with sheep bladder walls.
Later they were replaced by rectangular glass jars.
They were better than cylindrical ones as the flat surfaces
afforded a clear view of specimens without any distortion.
They are covered by rectangular glass plates.
These jars can be purchased readymade or assembled in
museum itself, as per need.
Nowadays, Perspex jars are also available, which are lighter than
However, they cannot be used to store specimens fixed in
alcohol or methyl salicylate as they react with plastics.
FIXATION OF SPECIMEN
Inject with fixative wherever possible
Never wash specimens containing much blood before or after fixing
Keep fresh specimens on thick layer of cotton wool covered with lint
Fix specimens with all its attached structures
Cystic cavities if unopened are inflated with fixative, if opened packed
with cotton wool and soaked in fixative
MOUNTING OF SPECIMEN
Re cut /trim irregularities during fixation
Fill with arsenious acid gelatin if the cavities collapse after removal of
Cover friable specimen with a layer of arsenious acid gelatin
Soak bile stained specimen in saturated sol. of calcium chloride for 24
MUSEUM JARS AND BOXES
Perspex boxes- lab made/commercial
Glass jars / boxes
ATTACHING SPECIMEN TO CENTRE PLATE
Centre plate thoroughly washed and dried on a fluff less cloth
Place specimen in proper anatomical position
Stitch specimen to centre plate with nylon/linen thread
Centre plate with specimen is next fixed in box
FILLING AND SEALING OF BOXES / JARS
Boxes filled with mounting fluid+0.4%sodium hydrosulphite
Fill 1 cm above the specimen height
Remove any air bubbles present
Seal top of the box with Perspex cement
Seal glass jars with asphaltum rubber compound
STORAGE OF SPECIMEN
Easy and certain identification
Separate container for each specimen
Accompanied with reference book
COMPUTERIZED UPGRADE CATALOGUED TEACHING
SPECIMENS. STORED ON CD-ROM DISKS.
MACERATED SPECIMEN OF BONES
Cut surface should be clean and even
Excess soft tissue trimmed off
Boiled in tap water or N/10 sodium hydroxide solution, degreased
by immersing in chloroform 3-4 hours ,dried in incubator,bleached
in hydrogen peroxide
Mounted dry on a centre plate or with perspex support
MACERATED SPECIMEN OSTEOGENIC SARCOMA MOUNTED
ON CENTRE PLATE IN PERSPEX BOX
USE OF PERSPEX SUPPORT –NORMAL
MANDIBLE IN CENTRE
SPECIAL METHODS- CALCULI
Preserved- Dry mounting
- mounting in gelatin with added
Technique –cut stone in two halves
- polish cut surface with sand paper
- assemble in appropriate group
Mount on centre plate and file until the stone fits tightly when
pressed halfway through the jar.
(EG:BONES OF EMBRYOS,CIRCULATORY
Specimen fixed in 95% alcohol
Soft tissues cleared in potassium hydroxide
Extract fat by treatment in acetone
Bones stained in alizarin red S solution
Tissues passed through increasing concentration of glycerine
Finally mounted in pure glycerine
GOUGH AND WENTWORTH PAPER MOUNTED
Thin sections of entire organs are mounted on paper
Large number of such sections are stored in the form of a book
Examined as transperencies
Organ most commonly treated- Lung
Others- liver, kidney, heart
A technique to preserve whole bodies or body parts
Water and fat are replaced by certain plastics
Specimens can be touched, do not smell or decay
Retain most properties of original sample
CONCEPT OF PLASTINATION- FORCED
Fixation- body embalmed in formaldehyde
to halt decomposition
Dehydration in acetone- water in tissues
replaced by acetone
Forced impregnation in vacuum- specimen
placed in a bath of liquid polymer such as
silicon rubber, polyester or epoxy resin
Acetone boils, vaporizes, leaves the cell being
filled with liquid plastic
Hardening- By treating the plastic with gas, heat and UV light
Models and teaching tools
Fewer animals have to be killed for research
Preservation of more flexible, durable and life like specimens
It is essential that a plan of the museum should be visible to the
entering; each section should be clearly labelled.
Several duplicates of each catalogue should be available.
All the medical councils of various countries have made it a
compulsion to develop pathology museum in medical education
Serves as a personal teaching tool
Plastinated models can be used to demonstrate various surgical
Journal Royal Society of Medicine
Cellular pathology by Culling
Nagalotimath S.J. pathology museum Department of Pathology
& Microbiology J.N. Medical College, Belgaum