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Practical 3: Digestive System

To learn the structure and function of the digestive system.

Material and apparatus

Disection kit and rat

The digestive system is made up of the gastrointestinal (GI) tractalso called the
digestive tractand the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. The GI tract is a series of hollow
organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus. The hollow organs that
make up the GI tract are the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine
which includes the rectumand anus. Food enters the mouth and passes to the anus through
the hollow organs of the GI tract. The liver, pancreas, and gallbladder are the solid organs of
the digestive system. The digestive system helps the body digest food.
Bacteria in the GI tract, also called gut flora or microbiome , help with digestion.
Parts of the nervous and circulatory systems also play roles in the digestive process. Together,
a combination of nerves, hormones, bacteria, blood, and the organs of the digestive system
completes the complex task of digesting the foods and liquids a person consumes each day.
Digestion is important for breaking down food into nutrients, which the body uses for
energy, growth, and cell repair. Food and drink must be changed into smaller molecules of
nutrients before the blood absorbs them and carries them to cells throughout the body. The
body breaks down nutrients from food and drink into carbohydrates, protein, fats, and

Digestion works by moving food through the GI tract. Digestion begins in the mouth
with chewing and ends in the small intestine. As food passes through the GI tract, it mixes
with digestive juices, causing large molecules of food to break down into smaller molecules.
The body then absorbs these smaller molecules through the walls of the small intestine into
the bloodstream, which delivers them to the rest of the body. Waste products of digestion pass
through the large intestine and out of the body as a solid matter called stool.

1. Rat was placed on dissection tray and four legs were pinned on the tray.
2. Forceps was used to lift the skin, cut the layers of the skin and was pinned to the tray.
3. Organs involved in the digestive system was observed and identified.
4. Organs of the digestive system was drawn and labeled based on your observation
5. Organs of the digestive system was removed, each organ was drawn and labeled


1. Based on your observation, compare the structure and function between the
small intestine and the large intestine.
The small intestine is longer than the large intestine, although it has a smaller width.
The small intestine is between the stomach and the large intestine. The large intestine is
the last part of the digestive system. The Large intestine absorbs water, nutrients and salts.
The small intestine absorbs carbohydrates, protein, fats, minerals and vitamins. Small
intestine has finger-like projections (called villi) while these are absent in large intestine.
Small intestine helps in digestion and absorption of food while large intestine helps in
reabsorption of food and elimination of wastes.
The small intestine is only small in its diameter. In herbivores, the small intestine may
be around ten times longer than the large intestine. The small intestine is where the villicovered walls absorb nutrients from the digested food. Once the nutrients are removed,
the waste enters the large intestine where the water is removed and the waste is
The small intestine in adults is a long and narrow tube about 7 meters (23 feet) long.
The large intestine is so called because it is wide in diameter. However, it is shorter than
the small intestine - only about 1.5 meters (5 feet) long. The small intestine is responsible
for nutrient uptake, the large intestine is responsible for fluid uptake. Small intestine
contains digest food and absorbs the nutrients from it.
The large intestine contains food waste. The small intestine is longer than the large
intestine, but it has a smaller width than the large intestine. The inside of the small
intestine is covered in villi (making the interior look bumpy), but the inside of the large
intestine is smooth. The small intestine finishes the brake down of the substance you
consume and has villi which absorb simple nutrients such as amino acids, simple sugars
and fatty acids. Then they are picked up by capillaries in the villi and transported
throughout the body.

On the other hand, the large intestine just transport the waste to the rectum and
absorbs water. Well, the small intestine breaks down food and passes the nutrient to the
blood vessels and the large intestine eliminates all the waste. The majority of digestion
takes place in the small intestine, while the large intestine absorbs water from the
remaining indigestible food and sends it out of the body. Also, the small intestine is
longer, but has a thinner diameter than the large intestine, which is shorter but wider.

2. Based on observation, differentiate the structure and function of the liver and
The liver is essentially a very large gland. It's located under the diaphragm and
lies mostly in the upper right side of your abdominal cavity. It's a big organ with many
big jobs, and even though we will only be looking at the liver in this lesson as it
relates to the digestive process, it should not be overlooked that the liver also carries
out many metabolic and regulatory functions for your body. With that said, we see that
the liver is an important digestive organ because it produces bile.
Bile is a yellowish-green fluid that aids in the emulsification of fats. Bile is not
an enzyme, but it does contain bile salts that emulsify large fat droplets. We see that
bile salts coat large fat droplets and then break large fat droplets down into smaller fat
droplets. It is as if bile comes into your digestive track with a sledge hammer and
smashes large droplets of fat into little ones, which are more manageable. This act of
emulsification increases the overall surface area of the fat and makes it easier for the
pancreatic enzyme, called pancreatic lipase, to do its job
The gallbladder can be thought of as a storage sac that helps the liver. It is defined as a
small sac-shaped organ that stores and concentrates bile. Your gallbladder lies beneath
your liver. When there is no food in the small intestine, bile - that was initially made
by the liver - backs up into the gallbladder to be stored. It is almost like your body
doesn't want to waste the bile that the liver worked so hard to produce; so, your body
conserves unused bile by storing it in your gallbladder until the next time you eat.
While it's in storage within the gallbladder, bile is concentrated by the removal of
water. Then, when you eat a fatty meal and that fat reaches your duodenum, a
hormonal stimulus tells the gallbladder to contract, pushing the stored bile into your
digestive tract.

Practical 4 : Respiratory System

To learn the structure and function of the respiratory system.
Material and apparatus
Dissection kit and rat.

The respiratory system, which includes air passages, pulmonary vessels, the lungs,
and breathing muscles, aids the body in the exchange of gases between the air and blood, and
between the blood and the bodys billions of cells. Most of the organs of the respiratory
system help to distribute air, but only the tiny, grape-like alveoli and the alveolar ducts are
responsible for actual gas exchange.
In addition to air distribution and gas exchange, the respiratory system filters, warms,
and humidifies the air you breathe. Organs in the respiratory system also play a role in speech
and the sense of smell. The respiratory system also helps the body maintain homeostasis, or
balance among the many elements of the bodys internal environment.
The respiratory system is divided into two main components:
Upper respiratory tract:
Composed of the nose, the pharynx, and the larynx, the organs of the upper respiratory tract
are located outside the chest cavity. Nasal cavity is inside the nose, the sticky mucous
membrane lining the nasal cavity traps dust particles, and tiny hairs called cilia help move
them to the nose to be sneezed or blown out. Sinuses are air-filled spaces along side the nose
help make the skull lighter. Then, both food and air pass through the pharynx before reaching
their appropriate destinations. The pharynx also plays a role in speech.The larynx is essential
to human speech.

Lower respiratory tract: Composed of the trachea, the lungs, and all segments of the bronchial
tree ( including the alveoli ), the organs of the lower respiratory tract are located inside the
chest cavity. Trachea which is located just below the larynx, the trachea is the main airway to
the lungs. Together the lungs form one of the bodys largest organs. Theyre responsible for
providing oxygen to capillaries and exhaling carbon dioxide. The bronchi branch from the
trachea into each lung and create the network of intricate passages that supply the lungs with
air. The diaphragm is the main respiratory muscle that contracts and relaxes to allow air into
the lungs.

1. Rat was placed on dissection tray and four legs were pinned on the tray.
2. Forceps was used to lift the skin, cut the layers of the skin and was pinned to the tray.
3. Organs involved in the respiratory system was observed and identified.
4. Organs of the respiratory system was drawn and labeled based on your observation
5. Organs of the respiratory system was removed, each organ was drawn and labeled


1. Compare the structure of the human lung and the specimen lung.
The geometrical structure of the lung is one of the main factors governing
inhaled particle deposition; structural differences among different species are,
therefore, of great importance for extrapolation modeling. A statistical analysis of
morphometric data for the human and rat tracheobronchial tree reveals significant
interspecies differences in airway branching patterns: compared to the relatively
dichotomous and symmetric structure of the human lung, the rat lung displays a more
monopodial airway branching pattern. Thus, for the rat lung, we recommend
characterizing the properties of a given airway, i.e., its size, physiologic function, and
distance from the trachea, by its diameter rather than by a theoretically assigned
generation number. A Monte Carlo method is used to construct an airway geometry
along each inhaled particle's path by randomly selecting airway parameters from their
frequency distributions and the correlations among them. While the airway geometry
is selected randomly, particle deposition in individual airways is calculated
analytically. These stochastic deposition calculations allow for structural differences
between the human and rat lung, and the variability of the airway system within each

2. Clinically, the airways can be divided into three areas according to their size. List
them and state the structure involved.
The airway of rat has three compartments trachea, bronchi and bronchioles.
Trachea is the main wind pipe that divides into left and right bronchi, which are
further divided into fine branches called bronchioles.
Food materials are broken down into simpler subunits by the digestive system,
and these simpler substances are delivered to the cells by the circulatory system.
Within body cells, simple molecules may be broken down to release energy. Some of
this energy is used to form ATP, which can be used to supply energy for cellular
activities. The process of breaking down food molecules to form ATP is called cellular
respiration. Part of this energy transaction is to pass hydrogen ions along the electron
transport chain. At the end of the chain, the hydrogen is joined to its final acceptor,
oxygen, forming water (H2O). In the absence of oxygen, the hydrogen transfers are
prevented and no ATP can be formed. This is the reason that oxygen must be delivered
to the cells. In many invertebrates, the size of the body is small enough for oxygen to
reach the cells by diffusion. In larger animals such as rats and humans, however, a
respiratory system has evolved, creating an internal surface area large enough to allow
oxygen to diffuse into and be carried to the cells by the circulatory system. The
respiratory and circulatory systems must function together.
Trachea - To reach the lungs, air travels through the nose or mouth to the
pharynx and then to the trachea. Find the trachea in the neck region. You will notice
that it has C-shaped rings of cartilage to prevent it from collapsing as air rushes
through it. Note that in the anterior region the cartilaginous bands are replaced by a
single, larger housing of cartilage. This initial portion of the trachea is the larynx or
voice box, within which lie the vocal cords. The vocal cords are folds of epithelium
that vibrate, producing sounds as air passes over them. The small brownish glandular
mass found on either side of the anterior end of the trachea is the thyroid gland. It is
not part of the respiratory system, but you may have wondered what it was. In the
thoracic cavity, the trachea branches into the right and left bronchi. The forking of the
trachea occurs immediately dorsal to the aorta and cannot be seen at this time. Each
bronchus leads to a lung where it branches further into bronchioles.

Lungs - Identify the lungs and note that there are four lobes on the right lung
and only one on the left lung. Within the lungs, the bronchioles carry the air to their
endings, tiny air sacs. Inside, these air sacs are further partitioned into chambers called
alveoli. This greatly increases the surface area available for gas exchange. In the
human, the internal surface area of the lung is equal to about half the area of a tennis
court. In fact, our lungs have a greater surface area than our skin. The alveoli are only
one cell layer thick and have capillaries immediately outside of them. The gas
exchange occurs across these moist surfaces by simple diffusion. The oxygen, being
in higher concentration in the inspired air, diffuses across the alveolar and capillary
walls and is picked up by the red blood cells of the blood. The concentration of carbon
dioxide is higher in the blood that has carried it from the cells, where it was produced
by the oxidation of foodstuffs. The carbon dioxide will diffuse into the alveoli and
leave the body during exhalation.
Diaphragm - Notice that the lungs are located within closed cavities, the
thoracic or pleural cavities, which are lined by membranes, called the pleura. The
parietal pleura line the wall of the cavity (body wall, diaphragm, and median septum)
and visceral pleura line the lungs. The fact that the lungs lie within closed cavities is
critical to the mechanism of breathing.
During inspiration, the size of the chest cavity is increased, creating a negative
pressure or vacuum that draws air into the lungs. This action is accomplished by the
contraction and flattening of the dome-shaped diaphragm and the contraction of the
muscles between the ribs. The contraction of the rib muscles raises the ribs, thus
increasing the size of the thoracic cavity. Air fills the lungs. During expiration, the
diaphragm and rib muscles relax and decrease the size of the chest cavity, forcing the
air out. The maintenance of a closed chest cavity is, therefore, essential to the
breathing mechanism. This is similar to the way a bicycle pump works. When you
pull out the handle, a piston is drawn back inside the cylinder, increasing its volume
and creating a negative pressure that draws air into the pump. Pushing in the handle
moves the piston so that the internal volume is lessened and air is forced out of the
pump. Obviously, a hole in the side of the pump would prevent it from working.