Saturday, May 12, 2007

Plastinate: A Funny Name for a Fascinating View of Soft Tissue, Horn, and Bone

If you have visited a Hoofcare and Lameness trade show booth at any of the conferences this winter, chances are that you saw our display of plastinated samples of hoof tissue. If you haven't been to our booth, perhaps you have been to the highly successful (and somewhat controversial) museum exhibit called "Body Worlds," which also uses the plastination process to preserve body tissue. While we can be forgiven for studying closeup hoof tissue, the jury is still out on the ethics of human tissue manipulation.

We are working on bringing Dr. Christoph von Horst of Germany to the USA to share his delicate and precise representations of the hoof. Best guess is that he will be in Palm Beach for the laminitis conference in November.

In the meantime, Hoofcare and Lameness will facilitate orders for Dr von Horst. Each tissue sample is, of course, life size and sandwiched in inch thick Lucite. The sample becomes a living study object but it also is a work of art, and the play of light through the hoof tisue is dazzling.

One visitor to our booth at the AAEP convention was so enchanted that he offered to buy the entire display!

Each sample is treated to resist light damage and will not fade. The cost on most is around $200 including air shipment from Germany. I will try to mount some more images to share them with you, but please contact Hoofcare and Lameness if you are looking for a unique gift, award, trophy, or a real treat for your own study of the hoof. Navicular damage and P3 rotation samples are available but sometimes are in great demand and have a longer lead time.