Osteopathic Medical Student, Joseph Ciano, attended and presented at the 2014 Anatomical Society Conference in Bradford, England from July 8th-10th.
The theme of the conference was "skin and bones", and Joseph presented his research poster during the "skin symposium". MDs, Medical students, Phds, and Phd students were present.
He presented his poster entitled, "Variation in the distribution of Meissner's corpuscles in human fingers". Joseph had his poster printed on beautiful cloth fabric to enhance the hand drawn images he created. After constructive criticism and feedback from his peers, he has more ideas on the topic and is considering writing up the manuscript to be published. He also received an award and 100 English pounds by the Anatomical Society for his project, made connections with new colleagues, and represented NYITCOM internationally.
My research investigated the distribution of Meissner's corpuscles in the human fingers. Meissner's corpuscles are microscopic structures in the skin that assist in the perception of general sensation. These microscopic structures are located in skin throughout the body, but are concentrated in the fingers, lips, skin of the genitalia, and other locations with high sensitivity. Since sensation in the hands (tactile acuity) is important in clinical medicine (conducting a physical exam, i.e.) and many manual medicines (OMT, acupuncture, chiropractic medicine, i.e.), I sought to explore the structures that make tactile sensation possible. I took tissue samples from the fingers of 16 cadavers from the NYITCOM Anatomy Lab, had these tissues processed and stained with Hematoxylin and Eosin, and I counted the amount of corpuscles in different finger regions. After a good deal of photographing slides, counting corpuscles, and statistics, I found that there are significant differences in the distribution of Meissner's corpuscles. These sensory structures are significantly higher in the finger tips and distal finger pads, compared to other regions. I also found that about 50% of individuals had significantly different (significantly higher or lower) corpuscle quantities when compared to each other. My findings suggest that certain areas of the fingers have higher tactile acuity than other areas, and tactile acuity is a factor that may vary between different individuals.