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Andreas Fetz
Andreas Fetz • 2 years ago

Inner ear hair cells. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of sensory hair cells from the inner ear. These cells are surrounded by a fluid called endolymph. As sound enters the ear it causes waves to form in the endolymph, which in turn cause the hairs to move. The movement is converted to an electrical signal that is passed on to the brain. Each crescent-shaped arrangement of hairs lies atop a single cell.

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Inner ear hair cells. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of sensory hair cells in the cochlea of the inner ear. The crescent-shaped arrangements of hairs across top are the stereocilia. Each crescent lies atop a single cell. Magnification: x1000 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.

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Microscopic hairs in your inner ear.

SEM of hair cells (brown/ pink) in a healthy inner ear. The inner ear converts sound waves into nerve impulses by stimulation of stereocilia (pink, upper frame), projections at the ends of the hair cells. Waves entering the inner ear displace the fluid that surrounds the stereocilia, causing the stereocilia to bend. This bending causes the hair cells to release neurotransmitter chemicals, which generate nerve impulses that travel to the brain along the auditory nerve.

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