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*CIL – Cell Image Library accession number. Please use this to reference an image.

CIL:12063*  Cite 

This electron micrograph shows the plasma membrane of epithelial cells of the brush border of the cat intestine, obtained from a thin section parallel to the free surface. The ability to visualize cell membranes, and other ultrastructural elements of the cell with the high resolution of the transmitting electron microscope provided critical views of cell ultrastructure, and fueled debate about composition and organization of the plasma membrane. The transverse plane of section reveals membranes composed of 2 symmetrical thick lines separated by an intermediate zone of lighter density. Not all membranes show this parallel symmetry. This image by Susumu Ito is Figure 2 from Chapter 1 (The Cell Surface) of 'The Cell, 2nd Ed.' by Don W. Fawcett M.D. A PDF copy of the accompanying chapter is available on the ASCB's BioEDUCATE website.

Biological Sources
NCBI Organism Classification
Felis catus
Cell Type
epithelial cell
Cellular Component
plasma membrane
extracellular region part
Biological Context
Biological Process
plasma membrane organization
Susumu Ito
ISBN 0721635849
Fawcett's "The Cell, 2nd Ed."
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
stain with broad specificity
Visualization Methods
uranyl salt
lead salt
Data Qualifiers
processed data
Sample Preparation
osmium tetroxide fixed tissue
Relation To Intact Cell
microtome-sectioned tissue
Spatial Axis Image Size Pixel Size
X 888px ——
Y 1277px ——