PROF. P. MOTTA / DEPT. OF ANATOMY / UNIVERSITY LA SAPIENZA, ROME / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PROF. P. MOTTA / DEPT. OF ANATOMY / UNIVERSITY LA SAPIENZA, ROME / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Osteocyte. Coloured scanning electron micrograph of a bone cell (centre), known as osteocyte, in human femoral compact bone (pale orange). Compact bone is made of collagen fibres and ground substances arranged in concentric sheets and produced by specialised cells called osteoblasts. During bone formation osteoblasts become progressively trapped into the bone matrix as osteocytes, at sites called lacunae (dark cavity). The osteocyte has many processes (pale blue) which enter the bone through the bone canaliculi, a network of minute channels linking nearby lacunae. Magnification: x5250 at 6x7cm size.
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