DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Nose hair with mucus and trapped pollen grain, scanning electron micrograph (SEM). Nose hair helps to protect against organisms and foreign debris entering the nasal passages and lungs. It is larger than scalp or axillary hair in order to provide a larger surface area to collect foreign objects that pass through the nose. Specialized cells called goblet cells present in the nasal epithelial layer are responsible for producing mucus that coats the surface of the nasal epithelial cells. Mucus is a secretion consisting of a viscous colloid containing antiseptic enzymes and immunoglobulins. Foreign debris and organisms get trapped in the mucus. Nasal epithelial cells possess cilia (small hair-like threads) on their surface. The cilia beat rapidly back and forth pushing mucus back in towards the oropharynx where it can be either swallowed or ejected. Magnification: x140 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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