ENGN/BIOL 267 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPDu0T vUtAU http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/perfectpredators-shorts-white-tip-blind-killer.html http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JWvTF ZZsAc Visual Odors Mechanical Thermal Salinity Oxygen/Carbon Dioxide concentration Electrical But how do we really know electrical signal helps sharks find their next meal??? sand Plaice (weakly electric fish) Fish odors sand Fish odors sand Polyethylene film coated box: An “electric shield” sand Sharks don’t use visual sense to find plaice Don’t use mechanical stimuli to find plaice Suspect they use electrical sense, but not yet proved. In Kalmijn’s words: “However, such an indirect conclusion may indicate only a limitation on the human imaginative faculty if not tested thoroughly and affirmed by more direct evidence.” “How do they do it? What about their physiology endows it with such keen electrical sensing? How can we apply physics principles to understand/model the system? And, equipped with this knowledge, what we be inspired to build? Glad you asked...Good thing we’re all in bioE! Injected ink shows distribution of sensory canals. From Montgomery et al. Journal of Experimental Biology 202, 1349–1355 (1999) To epidermis/ocean water Ampullary canal: filled with Mucous-like, sugary gel Ampulla: Bulblike termination of canal Alveoli: individual “pouches” Bv = blood vessel Mn = myelinated nerve Receptor Cells line bottom of ampulla. Electrical stimulus Neural signal From Waltman Acta Physiol. Scand. (1966) “The Fine Structure of Ampullary Canals of Lorenzini” LAMINAR SECTION THROUGH CANAL WALL SAME, ZOOMED IN 100 um Epithelial Cells form tight junctions SECTION THROUGH AMPULLARY ALVEOLUS RECEPTOR CELL FORMS SYNAPSE Accessory cell: electrical insulation for receptor cells Receptor Cell Presynaptic ribbon: Connection coming from receptor cell nerve terminal Nerve terminal: Path to sensory neuron Synapse formation Subthreshold response Action potential A cartoon model of the receptor cell making synapse onto nerve. * Receptor cells are electrically active! • Exhibit all-or-nothing response From Obara and Bennett: J Physiol (1972) “Mode of Operation of Ampullae of Lorenzini Skate, Raja Icanal Nrc ~20000 Iapex ~ Icanal 20 kW 1.2 MW 12 kW Voltage drop across apical membrane is about 97.4% of Vin Only 2.6% loss of signal strength!!