SUSUMU NISHINAGA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SUSUMU NISHINAGA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood vessels. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a resin cast of blood vessels supplying the thyroid gland. This branching network of vessels infiltrates the tissue of the gland, supplying it with blood. Gases and nutrients are exchanged between the blood and surrounding tissue through the permeable walls of capillaries, the smallest blood vessels. The thyroid gland, part of the endocrine system, lies at the base of the neck. It secretes hormones that control metabolism and growth. The cast was made by injecting resin into the blood vessels. The surrounding tissues were then chemically digested. Magnification: x100 at 6x7cm size.
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