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
False-colour scanning electron micrograph of hair cells (yellow v-shaped structures) which are part of the organ of Corti in the inner ear. This organ is situated inside the cochlea and converts the mechanical energy of sound waves into electrical stimuli. The hair cells are immersed in a fluid called endolymph and react to the pressure of sound waves with an undulatory motion. This motion stimulates a nerve ending in each group of hair cells which carries a signal to various parts of the brain through the Cochlear nerve. Epithelial cells are covered here by microvilli (purple spheres). Magnification: x3900 at 6x7cm size.
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