DON W. FAWCETT / SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DON W. FAWCETT / SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scanning electron micrograph of the wall of an aorta in cross-section, revealing the architecture of the elastin in 3-D. Formic acid has removed all other tissue components. The elastic tissue consists of multiple concentric sheets, or laminae, interconnected by radially oriented strands and fenestrated septa. In an intact vessel, smooth muscle cells occupy the spaces demarcated by the elastin elements. SEM, magnification 2400x.
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