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Anatomy Analog: The Gastro & Urinary System in 3D

For this activity you will be working in a group to assemble a model of the human torso (more specifically the gastro-urinary system). There are 8 different organs that you will be creating and/or assembling within the torso box. Below is a table of the organs and their respective dimensions both in the real body and for the purposes of this simulation. At then end of this you should be able to: i) Form a picture of how the organs are positioned relative to each other in the gastrointestinal and urinary tract; ii) Understand the dense and efficient packing of organs within our abdominal cavity; iii) Gain an idea of the relative sizes of the organs via scaling with water, diameter and length of organs.


2 packs of water- balloons (a pack of small and large ones) 2 Graduated 250 ml water balloon filling bottles Plastic tub to model the Abdominal Cavity Rope models for the small intestine, large intestine and oesophagus Felt images of the lungs, heart, stomach, liver, intestines (both small and large), and the kidneys


Construction Material Rope (pre-sized) Small balloon filled with water

Real-World Dimensions

Analog Dimensions (balloons altered by a factor of 0.5)

Esophagus Heart Lungs (x2) Stomach Large Intestine Small Intestine

2cm < diameter 2cm < diameter <5cm; 25cm < length <5cm; 25cm < length < 30cm < 30cm 300g < mass < 350g 175 ml Balloon diameter of approximately 11cm 750 ml 6cm in diameter; 1500cm in length 2.5cm in diameter;

Large balloons filled 6000 ml with air Large balloon filled with water Rope (pre-sized) Rope (pre-sized) 1500g when full 6cm in diameter; 1500cm in length 2.5cm in diameter;

6m in length Liver Kidneys (x2) Felt (pre-cut) 1400g < mass <1600g

6m in length approximated as a felt diagram 75 ml

Small balloons filled 125g < mass <175g with water

We have changed the balloon dimensions by a factor of 1/2 because these dimensions were best for the water balloons.

The body model will be completed in two stages. 1st Stage: You will find the outlined piece of felt inside a plastic tub. This is intended to represent the abdominal cavity. In this stage you will be properly placing the felt organs onto the felt background. An image of the entire cavity will be projected for your reference. Order of the Organs on the felt background (top down): First comes the lungs. Right in between the two lungs will be the heart. Below and to the right of the lungs will be the stomach, with the liver covering the left portion of the stomach. 4) Right below the liver and the stomach is the intestinal system. 5) Place the kidneys on top of the intestinal system. 6) Double check your arrangement with the one projected. You are now ready to begin creating and placing the organs.
1) 2) 3)

2nd Stage: You will find two gradated bottles, water/air balloons, and pre-crafted organs. At the beginning of this packet there was a table listing the organs and their relative dimensions for this simulation. Utilize this table to set up the water and air balloon organs. Creating the lungs: Create a pair of lungs by inflating two large balloons. Each balloon requires a diameter of approximately 11cm (use a ruler). It is easiest to inflate the balloons larger than you think necessary and then begin releasing air until the appropriate size is reached. 2. Instructions for creating the stomach: You will want at least two people for this task. Also, use a large balloon for the stomach since its volume is larger than most of the other organs. You may find it easiest to inflate the balloon partway

with air before attempting to fill it with water. Note that filling the stomach requires more than one full graduated bottle, so make sure to hold the neck of the balloon tightly while refilling the bottle (prevent your balloon from leaking). 3. Instructions for creating the heart and kidneys: Again you will most likely want more than one person for these tasks. However, since the organs are smaller, you can use the smaller water balloons to achieve a better representation of the scaled organs. Make sure to create two kidneys, and the heart should be about the size of your fist. In the event that you need to use the bottle multiple times for one organ, make sure to have someone else hold the balloon tightly at the neck. You will find it easiest to re-attach the small balloon to the bottle if you hold the bottom of the neck tightly in one hand while extending the opening over the nozzle of the bottle. 4. Instructions for placing the organs in the cavity: You have already created the felt replica of the abdominal cavity. Now you have a lot to fit inside of this space. You should start from the neck (esophagus) and work your way down the body. If you try to place the organs almost directly on top of the felt images, it should give you a good starting point. Place the stomach on the felt model before the liver. Your liver should drape across most of the stomach. Also, your kidneys should be placed immediately on top of the felt, with the intestines on top of the kidneys (the kidneys are more posterior than the intestines). As you will notice, the intestines are long and could require a lot of space. Think carefully about how you can get them to fit within their given space!

1. In the above table we have approximated the organ masses as volumes of water. Why can we make this approximation? (The density of water = 1g/cm^3 and 1cm^3 = 1ml)

2. We approximate the shape of the lung as a sphere, and the are given the following: (4500/)^(1/3) = 11.27, V= (4/3)**r^3. Perform the appropriate calculation to find the real-world diameter approximation.

3. Your esophagus is quite small in diameter. How do you think that it is possible for food to fit in the esophagus?

4. What did you have to do with your 6m long small intestine in order to pack it within the small space inside the body cavity? What do you think is the advantage of packing the small intestine this way inside the body?

5. There is a structure that separates the pulmonary space from the abdominal space in your body that was not modeled in this activity. What is this muscular structure called?