Cast of a horse’s cerebral arteries
- Maker: Paul Simoens
- Date: 21st century
- Location: Ghent, Belgium
- Scientific name: Equus caballus
- Collection: Department of Morphology
What does this blood vessel cast show?
This cast shows the arteries in the brain of a horse. At the base of the brain, the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain converge in a ring, the Circle of Willis. The size of these arteries and the presence or absence of connecting branches is different in every species. In horses, the innermost left and right cerebral arteries (branches of the left and right carotid arteries) supply most of the arterial blood to this ring and hence to the brain.
How are blood vessel casts made?
The casting technique is used to make three-dimensional models of body cavities (such as the abdominal cavity) and hollow organs (such as blood vessels). First a synthetic resin in a liquid form (monomer) is injected. When the resin is cured (polymerised), the surrounding tissues are dissolved with strong corrosive substances (potassium hydroxide solution).
Why do we make blood vessel casts?
Students of veterinary medicine are taught about the anatomy of domestic animals. They study each species separately, but they also need to gain an insight into the comparative anatomy of the various species. The variation in the blood supply to the brain among domestic animals is taught in these lessons. So these casts are used as teaching models.