Basic Anatomy andBasic Anatomy and
The Body and
A study of human anatomy and physiology
will help us to understand the ways in which
the body responds when placed under
– ANATOMY – study of body structures and the
relationship of body structures to one another.
– PHYSIOLOGY – study of how the body works
and the various functions of body parts.
Terminology for the Location
of Body Structures
To allow people to describe the location of the body structure,
we use an Anatomical Reference System. This reference
system has three parts
To give location of the body part, it is assumed that the body
is in the Anatomical Position. This is standing erect, facing
forward, arms by sides and palms forward.
Median: Dividing the body into left / right halves
Sagittal: Dividing the body into unequal left and
right parts and parallel to the median
Coronal / Frontal: Dividing the body into front and back
(anterior and posterior)
Transverse / Horizontal: Dividing the body into upper and
lower (superior and inferior)
TERM DEFINITION DIAGRAM EXAMPLE
Toward the head or upper part of
the body; above
The heart is superior to the
Away from the head toward the
lower part; below
The stomach is inferior to
Toward or at the front of the body;
in front of
The sternum is anterior to
Toward or at the back of the body;
The calcaneous is posterior
to the phalanges
Medial Toward or at the midline of the
body; inner side
The ulna is on the medial
side of the forearm
Lateral Away from the midline of the body;
The lungs are lateral to the
Proximal Closer to the origin or point of
attachment to trunk
The humerus is at the
proximal end of the radius
Distal Farther from origin or point of
attachment to trunk
The phalanges are distal to
Superficial Towards or at the body surface The skin is superficial to the
Deep Away from the body surface; more
The ribs are deep to the
skin of the chest.
LEVELS OF STRUCTURAL
ORGANISATION IN THE
STRUCTURAL LEVELS OF THE
The human body is organised into 6 different structural
• Chemical Level: includes atoms such as oxygen,
carbon, nitrogen and sodium and molecules such as
fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
• Cellular Level: molecules combine to form
structures. Cells are the smallest living things.
Examples include nerve cells and muscle cells.
• Tissue Level: when groups of similar cells join, they
form tissues. At this level cells work together to
perform specialised functions. For example
connective tissue and epithelial tissue.
• Organ Level: these structures are composed
of 2 or more different types of tissues and they
have specialised functions and shapes. This
includes the heart and the brain.
• System Level: organs with familiar functions
join together. Some organs are a part of more
than one system. Examples include the
reproductive and circulatory systems.
• Organismic Level: when all systems are put
together, we get a functioning human
organism. Each system is of vital importance;
failure of one causes damage to others.
* All organisms are made up of cells
* The life of a new organism begins with a single
* Organisms develop by creating new cells
The cell is the basic unit of any living organism.
There is no such thing as a ‘typical’ cell
• Cells differ in their size, shape, chemical composition, etc. This
structure is determined by function. For example, muscle cells have
the ability to move or contract, nerve cells are specialised for
conductivity giving them the ability to transmit impulses.
• All cells have some structures in common. These include: cell
membrane, nucleus, cytoplasm and organelles
• Specialised cells have a particular structure to carry out a special
• Cells with similar functions are often grouped together.
There are 75 trillion human body cells
• All live and grow.
• All reproduce.
• All have specific functions.
PLASMA MEMBRANE Protects cellular contents; makes contact with other cells; provides receptors for
hormones, enzymes, and antibodies; mediates the entrance and exit of materials.
CYTOPLASM Serves the ground substance in which chemical reactions occur.
Contains genes and controls cellular activities.
Sites of protein synthesis.
Contributes to mechanical support; conducts intracellular nerve impulses in muscle cells;
facilitates intracellular exchange of materials with cytoplasm; provides a surface area
for chemical reactions; provides a pathway for transporting chemicals; serves as a
storage area; together with Golgi complex synthesises and packages molecules for
Packages synthesised proteins for secretion in conjunction with endoplasmic reticulum;
forms lysosomes; secretes lipids; synthesises carbohydrates; combines carbohydrates
with proteins to form glycoproteins for secretion.
Sites for production of ATP.
Digest substances and foreign microbes; may be involved in bone removal.
Form part of cytoskeleton; provide support and shape; form intracellular conducting
channels; assist in cellular movement; form the structure of flagella, cilia, centrioles and
Helps organise mitotic spindle cell division
Flagella and cilia
Allow movement of entire cell (flagella) or movement of particles along the surface of
the cell (cilia).
INCLUSIONS Melanin (pigment in skin, hair and eyes) screens out ultraviolet rays; glycogen (stored
glucose) can be decomposed to provide energy; lipids (stored in fat cells) can be
decomposed to produce energy; mucus provides lubrication and protection.
Tissues are groups of cells with similar structure
• Organs of the body are built from tissues.
• There are four basic tissue types:
• These tissues cover the surface of the body
and line the various cavities and vessels.
Examples include the digestive and
respiratory tracts, blood and lymphatic
vessels and serous cavities such as pleural
• The cells are tightly packed and are
squamous (flat and scale like), cuboidal
(cube like), or columnar (taller than they are
long or wide) in shape.
• This tissue specialises in absorption,
secretion and provision of protective
• The most widespread and
abundant tissue in the body.
• Consists predominantly of
intercellular material (matrix)
and relatively few cells. The
matrix can be a soft gel,
a=some are firm but flexible,
some are hard and rigid,
some are tough and others
are delicate. Examples
include: spleen, cartilage,
ligaments, skin and blood.
• This tissue is composed of
two main kinds of cells,
neurons and neuroglia.
• Neurons function to transmit
signals / electrical impulses.
• Neuroglia functions as
blood – brain barriers,
production of myelin
sheaths and phagocytosis.
• There are three types of
muscle tissue; skeletal,
visceral and cardiac.
Examples include triceps,
heart and the digestive and
• Muscle tissue has the
ability to contract and
shorten thereby causing
movement and producing
SYSTEM PROCESSES ORGANS / STRUCTURES
SKELETAL - Support / protection
- Framework for movement
- Storehouse for minerals
All bones of the body
MUSCULAR - Movement
- Maintains posture
- Production of heat
Muscles of limbs and trunk
CIRCULATORY - Transport of O2 and CO2
- Transport of nutrients
- Transport of wastes
Heart, blood vessels and blood
RESPIRATORY - Breathing
- Removes CO2 and supplies O2 to blood
- Gas exchange through alveoli in lungs
Lungs, air passage and alveoli
DIGESTIVE - Food processing
(breaks down food into absorbable units to
enter blood to then be transported to body
Digestive tract, liver (breaks up
fat), pancreas (produces enzymes
to break down food) and salivary
URINARY - Excretion of wastes
- Regulates H20 and the acid / base of foods
Bladder, kidneys, ureter and
NERVOUS - Transmits stimulus
- Intelligence and emotions.
- Activates glands and muscles
Brain, spinal cord, sense organs
REPRODUCTIVE - Reproduction Reproductive organs of the male
ENDOCRINE - Growth and development
- Secretion of chemicals and hormones
- Regulates metabolism
LYMPHATIC - Immunity (picks up leaking fluid. Houses
white blood cells)
Lymphocytes, lymph nodes and
INTEGUMENTARY - Covers the body
- Provides protection
- Site of pain receptors
Hair, skin and nails
The human body is a complex unit of systems that interact to
allow us to breathe, eat, digest, excrete, move, react, grow
Cells from all the systems in the body are continually dividing,
growing and dying to allow the whole body to grow, develop
Our lives depend on the maintenance of a state of
physiological balance called homeostasis.
This is the condition by which all body systems attempt to
maintain stability within the entire body by maintaining stability
within all cells, tissues and organs.