An academic, anatomist, and Lombrosian psychiatrist active at the University of Parma in Italy at the end of the 19th century, Lorenzo Tenchini produced ceroplastic-like masks that are unique in the anatomical Western context. These were prepared from 1885 to 1893 with the aim of ‘cataloguing’ the behaviour of prison inmates and psychiatric patients based on their facial surface anatomy. Due to the lack of any reference to the procedure used to prepare the masks, studies were undertaken by our group using X-ray scans, infrared spectroscopy, bioptic sampling, and microscopy analysis of the mask constituents. Results showed that the masks were stratified structures including plaster, cotton gauze/human epidermis, and wax, leading to a fabrication procedure reminiscent of ‘additive layer manufacturing’. Differences in the depths of these layers were observed in relation to the facial contours, suggesting an attempt to reproduce, at least partially, the three-dimensional features of the facial soft tissues. We conclude the Tenchini masks are the first historical antecedent of the experimental method for face reconstruction used in the early 2000s to test the feasibility of transferring a complete strip of face and scalp from a deceased donor to a living recipient, in preparation for a complete face transplant. In addition, the layering procedure adopted conceptually mimics that developed only in the late 20th century for computer-aided rapid prototyping, and recently applied to bioengineering with biomaterials for a number of human structures including parts of the skull and face. Finally, the masks are a relevant example of mixed ceroplastic-cutaneous preparations in the history of anatomical research for clinical purposes.

The masks of Lorenzo Tenchini: their anatomy and surgical/bioengineering clues / Barbaro, F.; Consolini, E.; Toscani, G.; Zini, N.; Dallatana, D.; Setti, P.; Mosca, S.; Di Conza, G.; Bassi, E.; Quarantini, E.; Quarantini, M.; Raposio, E.; Gorreri, M.; Porro, A.; Toni, R.. - In: JOURNAL OF ANATOMY. - ISSN 0021-8782. - 235:6(2019), pp. 1036-1044. [10.1111/joa.13069]

The masks of Lorenzo Tenchini: their anatomy and surgical/bioengineering clues

Barbaro F.;Consolini E.;Dallatana D.;Setti P.;Di Conza G.;Bassi E.;Raposio E.;Gorreri M.;Toni R.
2019

Abstract

An academic, anatomist, and Lombrosian psychiatrist active at the University of Parma in Italy at the end of the 19th century, Lorenzo Tenchini produced ceroplastic-like masks that are unique in the anatomical Western context. These were prepared from 1885 to 1893 with the aim of ‘cataloguing’ the behaviour of prison inmates and psychiatric patients based on their facial surface anatomy. Due to the lack of any reference to the procedure used to prepare the masks, studies were undertaken by our group using X-ray scans, infrared spectroscopy, bioptic sampling, and microscopy analysis of the mask constituents. Results showed that the masks were stratified structures including plaster, cotton gauze/human epidermis, and wax, leading to a fabrication procedure reminiscent of ‘additive layer manufacturing’. Differences in the depths of these layers were observed in relation to the facial contours, suggesting an attempt to reproduce, at least partially, the three-dimensional features of the facial soft tissues. We conclude the Tenchini masks are the first historical antecedent of the experimental method for face reconstruction used in the early 2000s to test the feasibility of transferring a complete strip of face and scalp from a deceased donor to a living recipient, in preparation for a complete face transplant. In addition, the layering procedure adopted conceptually mimics that developed only in the late 20th century for computer-aided rapid prototyping, and recently applied to bioengineering with biomaterials for a number of human structures including parts of the skull and face. Finally, the masks are a relevant example of mixed ceroplastic-cutaneous preparations in the history of anatomical research for clinical purposes.
The masks of Lorenzo Tenchini: their anatomy and surgical/bioengineering clues / Barbaro, F.; Consolini, E.; Toscani, G.; Zini, N.; Dallatana, D.; Setti, P.; Mosca, S.; Di Conza, G.; Bassi, E.; Quarantini, E.; Quarantini, M.; Raposio, E.; Gorreri, M.; Porro, A.; Toni, R.. - In: JOURNAL OF ANATOMY. - ISSN 0021-8782. - 235:6(2019), pp. 1036-1044. [10.1111/joa.13069]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11381/2875453
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