MICROSCAPE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MICROSCAPE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Light microscopy of a vein (left) and artery (right). Veins have thinner walls than comparable arteries. The wall of the artery consists of layers of smooth muscle for vessel constriction and variable amounts of elastic fibres (thin dark blue line) to maintain vessel shape and size. Similar elastic components in veins serve to limit vessel expansion. The smaller blood vessels are classified as small venules. Magnification x480 when printed at 10 cm.
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