SUSUMU NISHINAGA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SUSUMU NISHINAGA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Surface of amnion. Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the epithelium of the amnion (the sac that protects the embryo), showing secretory epithelial columnar cells. These secretory cells are covered by a vast number of microvilli and secrete amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid is the watery liquid that surrounds and cushions a growing embryo within the amnion. After the embryo has become a foetus (at 8 weeks), the amniotic fluid enables it to move freely without the walls of the uterus being too tight against its body.
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