human organs

@the-smallest-invader

“Inspecting my human organs?!” Danny began to struggle. He didn’t expect to wake up to this. “You’re an alien! Why don’t you just use some kind of alien device to look inside of me without cutting me open? It’ll be a lot easier and less messy!” It’ll also mean the alien wouldn’t have to leave him with no choice but to go ghost. Going ghost would be risky; it could spark a bigger interest in cutting him open.

Finding human organs in jars is not an altogether uncommon occurrence when poking around the recesses of America’s abandoned asylums and hospitals.  Bumping into a cabinet upon which two such jars, the formalin long since dried out, rests at 4 in the morning is slightly unnerving.  This happened to me at Tuscaloosa’s Bryce State Hospital some time back, as I was searching around for those middle-of-the-night photographs to kill time until civil twilight broke.  After first light, I got so caught up in shooting a brand-new (to me) Kirkbride building that I completely forgot about the jars of organs - until it was almost time to go, at which point, I returned to grab a few captures.  Here’s one of them.

Print available here.

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Camila Carlow’s Eye Heart Spleen

When we look at human organs, sometimes their imagery can be off-putting (though fascinating!) but artist Camila Carlow uses our organs, at least pictures of them, to create her intricate Eye Heart Spleen series; human organs made from foraged plants.

The artist combines different plants, such as flowers and leaves, already themselves unique living organisms, to create one piece, one organ, of another living organism; the human. It is interesting to look at her series in regards to the place of humans in the world; how we pick flowers, tear down trees and stomp around in the grass, only to then have our bodies be consumed by the earth, covered by flowers, trees and grass. The plants sustain us, as either food or helping to create oxygen, just like our organs, and just like plants, we sometimes too forget to take care of our organs. As the artist states, “regardless of whether we fill ourselves with toxins or nourishing food, whether we exercise or not - our organs sustain us, working away effortlessly and unnoticed”. Both plants and organs are delicate structures, and both need to be taken care of, in order for them to take care of us.

To learn more about Camila Carlow’s work, you can visit her website, or if you would like to purchase one of her prints, they are available on Etsy.

-Anna Paluch

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Organ Care System.

In an organ transplant surgery, timing is critical. Doctors drop organs into a plastic bag and put them on ice. But lungs soon stop breathing. Hearts stop beating. The organs essentially shut down and start to deteriorate. This means doctors have only about five to 10 hours to get the lung from the donor into the recipient. If the travel time is too long, the organ can’t be used and goes to waste. An Andover company known as TransMedics came up with world’s first commercial, portable, warm blood perfusion system that allows a new type of organ transplant, called a living organ transplant. This new technology, called an Organ Care System, is designed to maintain organs in a warm, functioning state outside of the body to optimize their health and allow continuous clinical evaluation. Hearts beat, lungs breathe, kidneys produce urine and livers produce bile. The device is currently not FDA approved but is undergoing clinical testing.

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Neri OxmanMediated Matter research group at MIT Media LabChristoph Bader and Dominik Kolb, ‘Wanderers: An Astrobiological Exploration’ series, 2014

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Making a great leap forward for mankind, the series Wanderers, introduces a set of fashionable wearable biological pieces that circulate materials that theoretically could enable humans to sustain themselves in inhospitable environments in space.  

Wanderers is an ongoing collaboration between Neri Oxman and Mediated Matter research group at MIT Media Lab and Christoph Bader and Dominik Kolb. The four artworks are part of a design collection that Stratasys Ltd. - a global leader of 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions - unveiled as a part of a curated showcase for the opportunities that triple-jetting 3D printing brings to the creative design industry.

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1. MUSHTARI (مشتري): Jupiter’s Wanderer*, from the Wanderers series.   Designed by Neri Oxman in collaboration with Christoph Bader and Dominik Kolb and produced on the Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Production System. Photo credit: Yoram Reshef. Courtesy of Neri Oxman., 2014

  • Mushtari, Arabic for huge or giant, is designed to interact with Jupiter’s atmosphere. This tortuous piece is designed as a single meandering strand inspired by the human gastrointestinal tract. It is a wearable that will consume and digest biomass, absorb nutrients, generate energy in the form of fuel or sucrose accumulating in the side pockets and expel waste. With triple-jetting technology, Oxman was able to 3D print the intricate, translucent tubing, as well complex layering, and produce varied degrees of flexibility for movement.

2. ZUHAL (زحل): Saturn’s Wanderer*, from the Wanderers series. Designed by Neri Oxman in collaboration with Christoph Bader and Dominik Kolb and produced on the Objet500 Connex3 Color, Multi-material 3D Production System. Photo credit: Yoram Reshef. Courtesy of Neri Oxman., 2014

  • This piece was inspired by, and created to adapt to the vortex storms on Saturn. It has a hairy and fiberous large surface area designed to contain bacteria that convert the planet’s hydrocarbons into edible matter for humans. This geometrically complex, textural exterior is made possible with Stratasys 3D printing materials and triple-jetting technology that are malleable enough to vary in size, density and organization, accomodating for variations in anticipated wind speeds.

3. OTAARED (عطارد): Mercury’s Wanderer*, from the Wanderers series. Designed by Neri Oxman Oxman in collaboration with Christoph Bader and Dominik Kolb and produced on the Objet500 Connex3 Color, Multi-material 3D Production System., 2014

  • For the planet Mercury, Oxman and her team have created a structure that acts as a protective exoskeleton for the head as the planet lacks any atmosphere. Here, Stratasys color, multi-material 3D printing enables highly accurate customized fittings to individual specifications. The resulting 3D printed shell is designed to contain calcifying bacteria within a wearable Caduceus, with the ultimate goal of growing true, organic bone structures.

4. AL-QAMAR (قمر): Luna’s Wanderer*, from the Wanderers series. Designed by Neri Oxman Oxman in collaboration with Christoph Bader and Dominik Kolb and produced on the Objet500 Connex3 Color, Multi-material 3D Production System., 2014, images posted with permission of the artist.

  • Inspired by one of the most luminous objects in the sky, this piece embodies the surface qualities of the Moon.Akin to a wearable biodome, the exterior contains spatial spherical moon-shaped pods for algae-based air-purification and biofuel collection to produce and store oxygen. These highly detailed levels of spatial and material variation are only possible with Stratasys triple-jetting 3D printing technology due to its versatility of material properties from rubber to rigid, transparent to opaque, neutral to vibrantly colored and standard to biocompatible.

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The 11 Organ Systems of the Human Body*:

  • Muscular (A)
  • Skeletal (B)
  • Nervous ©
  • Endocrine (D)
  • Cardiovascular (E)
  • Integumentary (F)
  • Lymphatic (G)
  • Respiratory (H)
  • Digestive (I)
  • Urinary (J)
  • Reproductive (K)

*While you could technically start any where in the human body and learn the systems I DO NOT suggest the order of the picture. For efficiency (and personal preference) I suggest (in order):
Skeletal, Integumentary, Muscular, Nervous, Cardiovascular, Lymphatic, Endocrine, Respiratory, Digestive, Urinary and Reproductive