PROFESSORS P.M. MOTTA & S. MAKABE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PROFESSORS P.M. MOTTA & S. MAKABE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Microplicae of vagina. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of microplicae on the surface epithelium of the vaginal mucosa. The vagina is the muscular tube that forms the passageway between the cervix and vulva. Here, the surface of flattened squamous epithelial cells is shown (one cell is triangular at centre). These cells are covered in tiny, elongated folds called microplicae. Microplicae help to prevent the vaginal epithelium from drying out. They trap surface secretions (most notably mucus) within their folds, to keep the epithelium moist and lubricated. Magnification: x2800 at 5x7cm size.
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