An exhibition which puts preserved human bodies on public display is set to open in a busy shopping centre.

Bodies Revealed, which caused a sensation when it first opened in New York, displays the preserved anatomical specimens of people who donated their bodies to medical science.

The exhibition, staged by Atlanta-based Premier Exhibitions, has been set up in a former music store in Liverpool city centre and opens its doors to the public.

Visitors will see the inner workings of the body - including bones, muscle tissue and organs - thanks to a technique called polymer preservation, in which the human tissue is preserved in liquid silicone rubber.

Dr Roy Glover, the chief medical director for Bodies Revealed, said: "The collection of exhibits will allow visitors the chance to explore and discover the wonders of the human body in a completely new way.

"Bodies Revealed is all about education. It is a demonstration of the complexity, intricacy and sophistication of our organs and how they work."

Dr Glover, an Associate Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Cell Biology and a former professor at the University of Michigan Medical School, added: "We want Bodies Revealed to inspire people of all ages to think positively about their own body and promote healthy living choices. If you've struggled to explain to your children about the harmful effects of smoking, bring them here and let them see for themselves what terrible damage it does to the lungs."

Dr Glover said he recognised that some people may raise ethical issues and questions of taste. He said: "Over 16 million people have come to see this exhibition and not one person has fainted.

"What we have tried to do is create an exhibition space which is comfortable place for them to come and see and learn. My job, as an anatomist, is not just to ensure that the exhibition is educationally rich but that the bodies are displayed respectfully and I take my job very seriously. I feel that anyone who comes here to see and learn will go home richer for the experience."

Young visitors to the exhibition, which costs £9.35 for a child and £13.75 for an adult, are expected to be accompanied by an adult and parents are advised to exercise their judgment when deciding whether children should be taken to see it.