DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Tip of a tattoo needle. Black Ink on surface. Tattoo needles are used in the tattooing process. The process involves insertion of pigment into the skin's dermis (layer below the skin's epidermis). The layer of dermal tissue below the epidermis. Initially pigment is injected and dispersed throughout a homogenized damaged layer down through the epidermis and upper dermis. Once the foreign pigment is present it activates the immune system. Phagocytes rapidly form to engulf the foreign pigment. As healing occurs damaged epidermis flakes away while deeper skin granulation tissue forms. This tissue later is converted to connective tissue by collagen and pigment remains in trapped fibroblasts. The pigmented layer is just below the dermis/epidermis boundary. Magnification: x16 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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