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Image of the Month: ‘Cilia’ Little Fingers

Image of the Month: ‘Cilia’ Little Fingers

Cilia are the “fingers” of cells. They are the tiny protrusions that reach out from the cell and can sweep away debris and mucus. That’s exactly what cilia do in cells that line the airway. In these 3D images of epithelial cells in a mouse’s trachea, scientist and Johns Hopkins University President’s Frontier Award winner Andrew Holland and Ph.D. candidate Gina LoMastro demonstrate how cells build cilia.

The image shows red, elongated structures, which are cilia. In people who have damaged cilia in the brain, cells can’t sweep along cerebrospinal fluid. The fluid builds up, causing hydrocephalus. In the airway, cilia problems can cause respiratory diseases.

See more images and videos on JHM Fundamentals Instagram, our award-winning platform for stunning science images. 

Got images? If you are faculty, staff or a student at Johns Hopkins Medicine, email us to have your science "art" considered for our Instagram account.

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