The Michigan Engineer News Center

Sea Slug Surgery

A photograph of Tim Bruns, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering and his students, observing the buccal mass of the apysia California sea slug.

Tim Bruns, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Michigan Engineering and his students observe the buccal mass of an aplysia Californica (sea slug) moving. From left are Ahmed Jiman, Aileen Ouyang, Tim Bruns and Zachariah Sperry. Sea slugs are sea-dwelling invertebrates that are a common animal model in neuroscience and neural engineering studies due to their relatively large nerves and ganglia. First Zach anesthetized the animal with an injection, and then he dissected out the buccal mass (mouth parts) and its attached nerve ganglia. Bruns' lab performs in vivo studies to develop interfaces with the peripheral nervous system. In these studies they seek to understand how the nervous system works and to obtain functional control over an end organ. In general they focus on autonomic organs, including a primary lab goal of restoring bladder function through stimulation and recording from specific nerves. May 9th, 2017. Ann Arbor, MI. Photo by Marcin Szczepanski/Multimedia Director and Senior Producer, University of Michigan, College of Engineering