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Freeze fracture images of ciliated epithelial cells, Figures 8 (top) and 9 (bottom 2 panels) from Chapter 1 (The Cell Surface) of 'The Cell, 2nd Ed.' by Don W. Fawcett M.D. Figure 8 shows the P-face of ciliated epithelial cells from the ductus efferens of the rat, highlighting the "ciliary necklace" of imtramambrane particles the form several circumferential rows around the base of the shaft of each cilium. Figure 9 reveals linear arrays of particles that can be found on a small percentage of columnar epithelial cells in the colon and rectum of primates, shown here on the brush border of surface columnar cells from human rectal mucosa. A PDF copy of the accompanying chapter from Don Fawcett's The Cell is available on the ASCB's BioEDUCATE website.

Technical Details

With the freeze-fracture technique, tissue is rapidly frozen and cracked to shear along zones of weakness. Cleavage of membranes occurs along the hydrophobic interior of the lipid bilayer to reveal views of a "p-face" (the outwardly-facing inner half of the membrane) and an "e-face" (the inwardly-facing outer half of the membrane), and a metallic replica is made of the fractured surface. The intramembranous particles represent integral membrane proteins.

Biological Sources
NCBI Organism Classification
Homo sapiens
Cell Type
ciliated epithelial cell
Cellular Component
plasma membrane
Biological Context
Biological Process
plasma membrane organization
Fumi Suzuki
Marian Neutra
ISBN 0721635849
The Cell, 2nd Ed. by D.W. Fawcett
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Archival Resource Key (ARK)
Grouping This image is part of a group.
Image Type
transmission electron microscopy (TEM)
Image Mode
illumination by electrons
detection of electrons
Parameters Imaged
electron density
Source of Contrast
differences in deposition of metal shadow
Visualization Methods
shadowing and plating
Data Qualifiers
processed data
Sample Preparation
Relation To Intact Cell
isolated subcellular component
Spatial Axis Image Size Pixel Size
X 908px ——
Y 1284px ——