DAVID SCHARF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID SCHARF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Human osteoclasts. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a human osteoclast (bone cell, purple at centre). It is surrounded by a frayed series of collagen strands (yellow) from demineralised bone extending towards the cell. Osteoclasts are large, multinucleate cells which resorb bone, contributing to the remodelling of bone in response to growth or changing mechanical stress on the skeleton. Osteoclasts are found within localised erosions of the bone surface (resorption lacunae of Howslip). Osteoclasts also participate in the maintenance of blood calcium levels. Magnification: x380 at 6x6cm size.
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