February's issue of Scientific American features a beautiful close-up image of a placenta taken by Norm Barker, associate professor of pathology and art as applied to medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Barker specializes in photo-microscopy and natural science photography, and his work appears in the permanent collections of more than 40 museums, including the Smithsonian, the American Museum of Natural History and the Science Museum in London.

Barker's most recent book, Paleobotanical Splendor, documents fossilized plant material. His next opus—to be published later this year—explores medicine and pathology.

Here, SA showcases several more of Barker's photographs, which reveal the hidden beauty of medical implements as well as bodily organs such as muscles, brains, livers and kidneys.

» View the Medical Imagery Slide Show