This image shows capillaries, or small blood vessels, which act as the connective network between arteries and veins. They are often found as large networks supplying organs with oxygen and other nutrients, and removing carbon dioxide. Light micrograph. (Courtesy of Spike Walker, Wellcome Images)
What does this image reveal?
"These capillaries are from a special structure in the eye known as the ciliary body," explains image creator Spike Walker. "The eye is composed of two chambers, anterior and posterior, which are separated by the iris and the lens. The front chamber is full of a liquid called aqueous humour that provides most of the nutrients for the lens and the cornea. This liquid is secreted by the tiny holes within these capillaries of the ciliary body."
How did Spike make this image?
The microscope slide that Spike used to create this image was prepared around the 1890s - the slide was acquired from a retired histologist. The cillary body in an ox's eye has been dissected away from the lens and laid onto the slide.
The bright red colour of the capillaries is visible owing to a dye - likely to be carmine dye - which was injected into the artery that supplied the capillaries.
Due to the thickness of the sample, this image was created from a stack of images that were combined to give the structure a 3D appearance.
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