SEM of macula sacculi in the inner ear

SEM of macula sacculi in the inner ear

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Credit: PROFESSORS P.M. MOTTA & A. CAGGIATI/ SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Inner ear. Coloured scanning electron micrograph of part of the macula sacculi in the sacculus, a component of the organ of balance. It consists of supporting cells (red-brown) on which sensory ciliated cells (pale purple) are found. The macula is covered by a glycoprotein layer (yellow), called the otolithic membrane, which was here almost completely removed. When the head tilts, calcium carbonate crystals (otoconia red, bottom) are moved by the endolymph (transparent fluid) and stimulate the ciliated cells. The stimuli are then sent to the brain via the vestibular nerve. Magnification: x2300 at 6x7cm size.

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Keywords: anatomy, auditory sense, ear, hearing, human body, inner, inner ear, inner ear sem, macula sacculi, otoconia, sacculus

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