False-colour TEM of a bone cell: osteocyte

False-colour TEM of a bone cell: osteocyte

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Credit: BIOPHOTO ASSOCIATES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: False-colour transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of human bone showing an osteocyte (bone cell) lying in a cavity known as a lacuna. At centre (green) is the osteocyte containing a nucleus. This cell was formerly responsible for bone formation, has ceased activity, and has become embedded in the bone matrix (blue). A number of long, slender canaliculi (here coloured pink) are tunnels within the bone matrix by which neighbouring osteocytes often interconnect. At bottom, osteocyte processes can be seen extending into a canaliculi. Through this fine canal network there is an exchange of gases and nutrients within the bone. Magnification: unknown.

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Keywords: anatomy, bone, bones, cell, compact bone, false-coloured, human body, lacuna, osteocyte

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