Clinical Anatomy
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Division of Clinical Anatomy


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​​The Kirsten Skeletal Collection



​The Kirsten skeletal collection (since 1957) is a repository of human skeletons derived from the cadaver donation programme at the Division of Clinical Anatomy, at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences on Tygerberg campus. This repository is curated by Dr Mandi Alblas and used for education and research as stipulated in the legislation of the Human Tissue Act, Act 65 of 1983, and the National Health Act, Act 61 of 2003. The known records (age-at-death, sex, and ancestry) of these skeletonised cadavers make the repository very valuable for research.

​For any question regarding research access to this Repository please contact:

Dr Mandi Alblas​​

To apply to the repository, the attached Application for Skeletal study.pdf must be completed accompanied by a 2-page research proposal and CV of the applicant and emailed to Dr Mandi Alblas​. The application will be assessed by a committee, application turn around time is aimed to be less than 3 weeks. The applicant also needs to apply for ethical approval from the Human Ethics Research Committee before data collection

For more information on the collection:  Albla​s et al. 2018

Biological Anthropology Research Unit (BARU)

For any enquiries about the Biological Anthropology Research Unit, please contact Dr Mandi Alblas

​Studies on the health​​​ status of skeletal remains (bone and teeth) give insight into the standard of living of past populations and have value to descendants living today. Research underway in the Biological Anthropology Research Unit at Clinical Anatomy has application in:
1. Teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students to improve techniques by providing haptic learning material.
2. Physical anthropology to improve knowledge on human variation,  trauma and pathology as seen on bones.
3. Forensic Science assisting in victim identification.
4. Providing anatomical or osteological information for prosthetic implants and surgical techniques in a clinical setting.

Visun logo new.pngForensic Anthropology: ViSUN Unit

For enquiries about the forensic application of biological anthropology, please contact Dr Mandi Alblas.​

Forensic anthropology is the application of biological anthropology to the legal process. ​
The ViSUN unit (Victim identification @ Stellenbosch University) assists the Victim Identification Centre (VIC) of the South African Police Services (SAPS) and the Forensic Pathology Services (FPS) of Cape Town with possible identification of unknown skeletal / decomposed / burnt human remains when other identifiers (DNA & fingerprinting) cannot be used.​

f2.jpgUndergraduate Microscopy Laboratory

The undergraduate microscopy lab is equipped with 142 states of the art NIKON microscopes where effective teaching enhances the knowledge and skills of students in Cytology, Biology, Embryology and Histology. Slides are demonstrated on monitors before students can observe and draw "what they see" on their own slides under the microscopes.  The computer laboratory (GERGA) is also used for digital teaching in the form of Tutorials that has to be completed before the end of each module. 


Dissection halls with cadavers and articulated skeletons

The Anatomy Division has four dissection halls, two halls on the 4th floor and two on the 3rd floor in the BMRI south building, however, the 3rdfloor is still under construction and will only be available later in 2022.  It is equipped with adequate articulated skeletons and osteological material as well as a Macroview projection system. Each cadaver has a Lodox(R) statscan(R) image to assist medical students in learning practical surface Anatomy.


Microscopy laboratory with high-end micf6.jpgroscopy units

High-quality micrographs, ready for publication can be taken with modern photo imaging and analysing compound and stereo microscopy systems. Different services are available and training on the use of the systems is on offer. Use of the Microscopes can be booked online. 

Details for booking and using the microscope system: see document below.

Microscope bookings.pdf

Contact Jeffrey Pieterse for further detail.


Histology laboratory

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A service laboratory to provide high-quality morphology in histology to researchers/investigators and other institutes/companies in the area. The laboratory has a comprehensive service of tissue analysis including routine histological processes (paraffin and frozen), and many other special stainings (histochemistry, immunohistochemistry) for histological or pathological studies. Our histology analyst, Reggie Williams, has a special talent and can assist with any request you may have.

Contact our Laboratory Manager, Vuyo Mbovane, for further detail.