Our Mission

The goal of OUR BODY: THE UNIVERSE WITHIN is for exhibit-goers to leave with a deeper understanding of the body’s form and function and a stronger appreciation of the uniqueness of each of our individual bodies. The exhibit vividly transmits knowledge about the human organism displaying the specimens in an artful, compelling and dignified environment. Guests will connect on a very personal level with these human artifacts as they use them to better understand their own bodies.

The exhibits also explore how the study of the body has evolved. The specimens serve as an engaging resource that vibrantly illustrates how far mankind has come since Galen drew anatomical sketches in the 2nd century A.D.

OUR BODY: THE UNIVERSE WITHIN is a scientific, educational exhibit comprised of over 200 specimens that have been preserved using a method known as polymer impregnation.

OUR BODY: THE UNIVERSE WITHIN literally as well as figuratively goes “under the skin,” revealing the complexity of the human body and allowing visitors an up-close, 3-dimensional look at their inner make-up. Rather than use models of the human body, THE UNIVERSE WITHIN uses actual human bodies to provide the general public a look at what normally only doctors and scientists are allowed to see first-hand, making this a once in a lifetime experience. The goal of OUR BODY: THE UNIVERSE WITHIN is that visitors leave with a deeper understanding of the body’s form and function and a stronger appreciation for staying fit and healthy.

Visitors will be able to explore the body parts that allow them to think, to breath, to move and the ‘freeways’ that circulate the blood that keeps the motor in constant motion.”

Polymer impregnation is a relatively new method of preservation whereby bodily fluids are replaced by liquid plastic, which is then hardened to create a solid, durable anatomic specimen that will last indefinitely. Most importantly, the process leaves even the finest, most delicate tissue structures virtually intact, down to the microscopic sphere, making the process invaluable for medical study.

Prior to the invention of polymer impregnation, the only method for preservation of cadavers for medical study was storage in formaldehyde, making the dissection and study of human bodies cumbersome. Plastination results in specimens that are not only versatile and easy to handle, but are truly authentic.

Visitors to OUR BODY: THE UNIVERSE WITHIN will be introduced first to the human body as a whole, then taken through each of the body’s major systems to see how each functions and relates to other systems. First up is the frame that holds a person together – the musculoskeletal system – using a body in simulated motion to demonstrate how various muscle groups work together to keep a body in motion. From there, one will see the central nervous system, with the brain as the “control room” from which all motor impulses flow. Exhibits on the digestive and respiratory systems show how a person eats and breathes, while cardiovascular display shows the intricate system that carries blood from the heart (arteries) and back to the heart (veins).