Coloured TEM of tracheal mucus cell & cilia

Coloured TEM of tracheal mucus cell & cilia

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Credit: J. L. CARSON, CUSTOM MEDICAL STOCK PHOTO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Tracheal epithelium. Coloured freeze-fracture transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of the lining of the trachea, or windpipe. At upper centre is a goblet cell (purple) which produces mucus (green) which lines the inner walls of the trachea. This mucus traps microorganisms and other airborne irritants and prevents them entering the lungs. To the left and right of the goblet cell are ciliated epithelial cells, with long, finger- like projections (cilia). These cilia rhythmically waft mucus away from the lungs, up the trachea and towards the throat where it can be swallowed or coughed up. Magnification unknown.

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Keywords: anatomy, cilia, epithelium, goblet cell, human body, mucus-secreting cell, respiratory system, trachea, trachea epithelium, tracheal epithelium, windpipe

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