Inner ear hairs, SEM

Inner ear hairs, SEM

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Credit: DR DAVID FURNESS, KEELE UNIVERSITY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Inner ear hairs. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of stereocilia, sensory hair-like projections, from hair cells of the cochlea of the inner ear. The stereocilia are surrounded by a fluid called the endolymph. As sound enters the ear it causes waves to form in the endolymph, which in turn cause the stereocilia to move. Seen here are the tip links (thin bridges linking a stereocilium to the stereocilium behind it). As the tip links are moved they pull open ion channels in the stereocilia, allowing the flow of ions into the hair cells, and so beginning the propagation of an electrical signal that will be passed to the brain.

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Keywords: anatomical, anatomy, auditory sense, biological, biology, blue, cell, cells, cilia, cilium, cochlea, coloured, false-coloured, filament, filaments, hairs, healthy, hearing, inner ear, normal, organ of corti, scanning electron micrograph, scanning electron microscope, sem, sense, sensitive, sensory hair, sound, stereocilia, stereocilium, tip link, tip links

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