Innovative embalming technique developed at CEFITEC - NOVA achieves world reference status



A team of researchers composed by Professor João Goyri O'Neill, from NOVA Medical School, Professor Paulo Ribeiro, from Center for Physics and Technological Research) CEFITEC – FCT - NOVA), and four MSc students; Norberto Chá, João Lagarto, João Patrício (former Biomedical Engineering student at FCT - NOVA) and Filipe Bernardo (Physics Engineering Student) developed an innovative embalming technique making use of a dedicated machine considered a worldwide reference. The underlying technique consists of the arterial injection into corpses of an embalming         solution - a combination of aliphatic alcohols (diethyleneglycol and ethylene glycol), which, although toxic, its use does not cause health risks to the user, since there is no vapors production nor exists direct contact with the product. The injection of embalming fluids is performed through an automatic infusion machine, specially developed for arterial injection through the femoral artery and from here to adequately distribute the embalming solution throughout all the body tissues. According to Professor Paulo Ribeiro, from CEFITEC - FCT - NOVA, the success of this technique lies in the way the embalming fluid is injected. The machine has been patented in 2011 at the Portuguese National Institute of Industrial Property, and by 2013 the team presented the technique for the first time to the scientific community, in an article published in "Acta Médica Portuguesa", a scientific peer reviewed journal of the Physicians Order. In this article it can be read that: "This technique and the machine allow the preparation of embalmed corpses in very good conditions, making possible pathological and forensic examinations and long-term preservation of the cadaveric material". In addition to the application in the funeral industry, this technique is also essential in the academic field, since it is a key part in the study of human body anatomy and also in pre and postgraduate medical training, particularly for surgeons. The innovations introduced are of a high scale and have attracted increasing interest worldwide.

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