Coloured SEM of cells in alveolus of the lung

Coloured SEM of cells in alveolus of the lung

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Credit: PROF. ARNOLD BRODY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lung alveolar cells. Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of epithelial cells lining an alveolus (air sac) of the human lung. At lower frame are smooth alveolar cells type I which cover 90% of the air sac surface, and function in gas exchange. Oxygen and carbon dioxide pass through these cells, to and from the bloodstream. At centre left & top are two alveolar cells type II. They are covered in fine microvilli and secrete surfactant, a substance that reduces surface tension in the air sac and prevents it from collapsing. At centre right is a brush cell with thick microvilli, whose function is unknown. Magnification: x5,100 at 6x4.5cm size.

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Keywords: alveolar cell, alveolus, anatomy, brush cell, cells, human body, lung, lung cell, lungs, microvilli, pneumocyte, respiratory system, surfactant, type i, type ii

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