POWER AND SYRED / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY POWER AND SYRED / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Synthetic sponge. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) showing the branching structure of a synthetic sponge. This structure is based on that of natural sponges, which are primitive aquatic animals. Whereas the bodies of natural sponges are made up of a branching network of cells supported by an internal skeleton of calcium or silicon based spicules (spines), synthetic sponges are usually made from cellulose wood fibres, or foamed plastic polymers. Magnification: x45 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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