MANFRED KAGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. MANFRED KAGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
Scanning electron micrograph: part of the human kidney showing specialized epithelial cells called podocytes on the surface of a glomerulus. The glomerulus is a knot of capillaries, which sits in a structure called the Bowman's capsule. Both are involved in the filtering of waste from the blood. The waste passes across the glomerular membrane, across the podocytes, & into the Bowman's space. The structure of podocytes control the filtering process by restricting the size of molecule able to pass across the membrane. They consist of a cell body with numerous branches ranging in size from thick strands to a meshwork of interlocking fingers. Mag: X800 (at 6x7cm size), X400 (35mm).
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