Frequently Asked Questions
More About Anatomic Excellence
How Can We Help?
If your question is not addressed here, please get in touch – we are here to support you!
Where is Anatomic Excellence?
Anatomic Excellence is headquartered in Savannah, GA – but we are rarely in the office! We are most often visiting with clients and prospective partners across the US, Canada and the Caribbean. Please connect with us via (912) 661 8655 or email.
What are your office hours?
Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST, and on weekends by appointment only. If you need to get in touch, please call or text (912) 661 8655 or send an email.
How is Anatomic Excellence associated with Gubener Plastinate and von Hagens Plastination?
Anatomic Excellence is the sole sanctioned agent of von Hagens Plastination (vHP; located at Gubener Plastinate) in the US, Canada and the Caribbean. Should you encounter another entity claiming to offer vHP in this region, please contact our team immediately.
If you are a qualified user outside of our region, reach out to us; we can connect you with the appropriate contact.
Can I purchase directly from von Hagens Plastination?
While you can buy from vHP in theory, in practice it is not ideal. An obvious challenge is the time difference between Germany and the US, Canada and the Caribbean; timely communication can be difficult or near impossible. Perhaps less apparent, but critically important, is the shipping assistance and customs clearance support offered by Anatomic Excellence.
Additionally, Anatomic Excellence travels to campuses and facilities across the region to:
- Meet with institution leadership, department heads and stakeholders
- Assess how plastinates complement teaching philosophy and curricular needs
- Guide stakeholders in the selection of specimens
- Support the request for bespoke specimens, as needed
- Facilitate the purchasing process
What are the Plastinates made of?
Silicone Plastinates are plastinated tissue specimens ethically derived from real human bodies. Almost every body part, from organs and nerve systems to whole body specimens, can be plastinated. The fluid in the body is replaced with silicone rubber and the specimens are hardened so that they are preserved in perpetuity. Learn more about the process.
Where do the specimens come from?
All anatomical specimens are sourced from von Hagens Plastination. Body donors contributed their bodies with willed legal consent during their lifetime to the Institute for Plastination Body Donation Program.
What is the intended use?
Specimens of human origin may only be used for teaching and research and may not be sold to non-qualified users.
What constitutes a qualified user?
Qualified users are legal entities or natural persons who will exclusively use human specimens for the purpose of research and instruction or for the professional practice of medicine, diagnostics or therapy.
In particular, this includes educational institutions such as schools, universities, hospitals, as well as practicing physicians, college instructors, lecturers and other individuals involved in conducting research projects. Qualified users are restricted from providing specimens of human origin to non-qualified users. See our page on Ethics for more information.
In what ways are Plastinates useful?
Plastinates have a high didactical value and are particularly suitable for universities. Their unique 3D complexity illustrates the intricate structure of the musculoskeletal system and the inner organs as well as their relative position to each other. These specimens keep their natural form and thus allow students and professionals to examine structures and details of the body better than any model. More than 400 teaching institutions around the world use our plastinated specimens for instruction.
What specimens are available?
Anatomic Excellence sells the full von Hagens Plastination (vHP) range of products, including:
- Silicone Plastinates
- Sheet Plastinates
- Anatomy Glass
- Blood Vessel Configurations
- Skeletons & Skulls
- Bespoke Specimen Dissection
View our current catalog for available specimens. Please connect with us if we can advise on the most ideal vHP specimens for your curriculum or discuss your need for customized specimens – including pathology specimens, when available.
What is the difference between Sheet Plastinates and Anatomy Glass?
Sheet Plastinates are 1-5 millimeter thick plastinated body slices from real human bodies. Anatomy Glass is a high-resolution acrylic glass print of the best original Sheet Plastinates. Anatomy Glass is extremely durable, less expensive and more readily available than original Sheet Plastinates.
Anatomy Glass is available for the general public, since it does not violate the sales restrictions of genuine human specimens.
Is it possible to order a custom-made specimen?
Yes. In partnership with von Hagens Plastination, Anatomic Excellence can source bespoke specimens according to customer specifications, including pathology specimens when available. Contact us for more information.
How much do specimens cost?
Prices range widely, from less than $100 to nearly $90,000. Please see our current catalog and corresponding price list for more information, and connect with us if we can advise on the most ideal specimens for your curriculum or discuss your need for customized specimens – including pathology specimens when available.
Note, prices are associated with the cost of preservation or plastination of the specimens, not for the specimens themselves. See our page on Ethics for more information.
What are the Costs of Importation and how are they calculated?
von Hagens Plastination Specimen prices are directly related to the cost of dissection, preparation, and preservation of the specimens; plus, charges for shipping and insurance calculated using DAP (Delivered at Place) Incoterm’s. This means that your institution is responsible for the Costs of Importation that include Customs Broker, Customs Bond, Import Duties related to the specimens Harmonized Tariff Code Duty and any Import Tax. The Anatomic Excellence Team will assist you in budgeting for these costs by providing you with a Customs Clearance & Costs of Importation ESTIMATE of their value at the same time as we provide you with a formal quote. The costs themselves will be realized during or just after the shipping process and may be invoiced by a US Government Agency, a Logistics Company and / or Customs Broker.
How long does it take to receive specimens?
Von Hagens Plastination (vHP) specimens are dissected upon request, although some specimens are readily available due to an efficient specimen preparation program. The plastination process begins only after a customer purchase order has been received by vHP. This enables order fulfillment to precise customer specifications. With one to two months required to complete each step of the plastination process, lead times are typically between 6 and 12 months. Please contact us to discuss your needs and timeline.
What is your refund / reschedule / cancellation policy?
Orders containing Bespoke / Special Dissections will forfeit the entire 50% deposit related to the Total Purchase Order Specimen Value.
Orders containing Standard Dissections may be cancelled by the customer within 3 months of the Purchase Order date and before a delivery has been made.
Standard Specimen cancellations made within 3 months will receive 30% of the Total Purchase Order Specimen Value back.
Standard Specimen cancellations made after 3 months will forfeit the entire 50% deposit related to the Total Purchase Order Specimen Value.
How long does a Plastinate last?
All plastinated specimens are non-toxic, even when handling without gloves. They are durable, authentic and do not shrink. In principle, they will last forever if treated with appropriate care.
Can I donate my body to the Institute for Plastination?
Thank you for your interest in donating your body for the purposes of education and research.
Created in 1993, the Institute for Plastination (IfP) Body Donation Program has nearly 20,000 body donors on its roster, with more than 2,800 donors having died since it was established. The donors come from over 33 countries, with the majority from Germany (about 85%) and North America (about 10%). See the IfP Body Donation Program booklet for more information.