ERIC GRAVE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ERIC GRAVE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Light micrograph of human compact bone tissue, in cross section. Compact bone occurs in the shafts of the long bones such as the femur. Concentric circles of bony material are organized around large channels (black) that contain blood vessels, lymph vessels and nerves. The channels, called Haversian canals, run the entire length of the bone. The smaller dark areas around each Haversian canal are lacunae, holes in the bone that are each occupied by an osteocyte (an osteoblast cell that has become embedded in the bone matrix). Each Haversian canal with its surrounding bony plates forms an Haversian system - effectively a living scaffold pole. Magnification: x48 at 35mm size. Reference: MICROCOSMOS, figure 2.30, page 31.
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