Here’s a top tip that I first was given by a very experienced biology teacher at Brisbane Grammar. You can inject the vascular system of a heart with paint to highlight the blood vessels. I had a practice yesterday and found it much easier on this bovine heart than I ever have on a porcine heart. I’m not very experienced with syringes and needles, though, and there were plenty of labbies in the porcine pluck workshop at ConQEST that did a great job of it.
My tips for success:
- Water down the paint a bit to make it easier for the syringe and needle.
- Use a brightly coloured paint. Red and blue is tempting but yellow, orange and green show up much more clearly.
- Allow a bit of air to flow out of the needle into the blood vessel ahead of the paint if you can.
- Massage the paint along the finer vessels with your finger.
- Try not to tell the lady at the craft shop what you really want to use the paint for. She will just look thoroughly disgusted and keep one eye on you until you finally get out of her shop.
I’ve also been told you can let the paint dry and see the highlighted vessels by cutting across the muscle and looking for the paint.
It’s fun! Give it a go!