Microscopy Primer
Light and Color
Microscope Basics
Special Techniques
Digital Imaging
Confocal Microscopy
Live-Cell Imaging
Photomicrography
Microscopy Museum
Virtual Microscopy
Fluorescence
Web Resources
License Info
Image Use
Custom Photos
Partners
Site Info
Contact Us
Publications
Home

The Galleries:

Photo Gallery
Silicon Zoo
Pharmaceuticals
Chip Shots
Phytochemicals
DNA Gallery
Microscapes
Vitamins
Amino Acids
Birthstones
Religion Collection
Pesticides
BeerShots
Cocktail Collection
Screen Savers
Win Wallpaper
Mac Wallpaper
Movie Gallery

Differential Interference Contrast Image Gallery

Human Cheek Epithelial Cells

The tissue that lines the inside of the mouth is known as the basal mucosa and is composed of squamous epithelial cells. These structures, commonly thought of as cheek cells, divide approximately every 24 hours and are constantly shed from the body.

Cheek cells secrete a continuous supply of mucin, the principal element of mucous. In combination with the salivary glands, the mucin maintains a moist environment in the oral cavity. A sufficient moisture content must be continually sustained in order to aid enzymes in softening food, facilitate swallowing, and initiate the process of digestion.

Cheek cells are often studied in school laboratory settings because they can be easily obtained through a mouth rinse or simple swab. Yet, though the individual cells appear very simple under the microscope, they each contain the genetic make-up of the entire body. Thus, they are often used for DNA fingerprinting studies, as well as paternity testing. Interestingly, a group of Australian researchers have recently found another use for human cheek cells. They have devised a test that utilizes cheek cells to measure an individualís proclivity for high blood pressure.

BACK TO THE DIC IMAGE GALLERY

Questions or comments? Send us an email.
© 1998-2013 by Michael W. Davidson and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last modification: Friday, Aug 01, 2003 at 11:43 AM
Access Count Since April 22, 2003: 44504
For more information on microscope manufacturers,
use the buttons below to navigate to their websites: