DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of collagen bundles in a human umbilical cord. The umbilical cord is a conduit between the developing embryo or foetus and the placenta. It normally contains two arteries (the umbilical arteries) and one vein (the umbilical vein), buried within Wharton's jelly (a gelatinous substance made largely from mucopolysaccharides). The umbilical cord also contains undifferentiated connective tissue (mucous connective tissue) called collagen and mesenchyme. Collagen is a type of structural protein and is the most abundant protein in mammals. Collagen forms elongated fibrils and is primarily found in fibrous tissues such as tendons, ligaments and skin. It is also abundant in corneas, cartilage, bones, blood vessels, gastrointestine and muscle tissue. Magnification: x800 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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