This EBook covers the fine structure of human cells and tissues as seen with the transmission and scanning electron microscope (TEM & SEM). To the author’s knowledge there is no book of this kind expressly devoted to human cells and tissues. The book is concise and is primarily intended to help in the teaching of microanatomy to first-year medical and health-science students, paramedical students and first-year science and other university students. It can also be used to teach university entrance students in secondary schools and technical staff in anatomical pathology in hospitals and specifically those involved in stem cell research. There are innumerable texts in light microscopy (LM) of basic histology that are now available for comparison to all and on line, particularly on Google, Wikipedia, PubMed and other search engines.
Microanatomy is essentially a visual subject and the author firmly believes that a picture is worth a thousand words. The cell is the fundamental unit of structure in the human body. Cells and their products form the tissues and the various organs and organ systems of the human body. Understanding their structure is not only basic to microanatomy it is also of importance in the study of physiology and pathology and of course, gross anatomy. Now with dawn of stem cell research, it can be used as guide to understand adult and embryonic stem cell microstructure in conjunction with LM and immuno -fluorescent microscopy (FM).
As an innovation to the original atlas we have added, exquisite colour images (SEM) by Prof. Pietro Motta, a world leader in electron microscopy, author and publisher of many atlases aided by his co-workers in
La Sapienza, University of Roma, Italy, to appreciate the third dimension in microstructure. Some images of the testis are credited to Professors. David de Kretser & Jeff. Kerr, my colleagues at Monash University. Prof. de Kretser, of course, is one of my role models since he is an electron microscopist, clinician
and expert on the testis and male infertility. He was founder Director of the Institute of Reproduction & Development, where I was honorary associate professor. He is also a born Sri Lankan and was Governor of Victoria.
To help interpretation of the electron micrographs, the structure of each type of cell and/or tissue is illustrated diagramatically, and an attempt has been made to relate this to function. Where possible, such interpretative diagrams are printed adjacent to the electron micrographs of that particular type of cell/ tissue. Some of these diagrams were coloured by computer. In addition, brief descriptions of the anatomy of the cells/tissues and legends that describe the electron micrograph are included. Each section will briefly introduce the reader to the type of cell, tissue or organ that is being illustrated. Since there are many advanced atlases and textbooks on the fine structure of cells and tissues, the present publication is intended to be a simple reference for the student and researcher. One of the greatest difficulties readers have in the interpretation of cell structure using LM is that they do not see the outlines of cells and for the most part they do not see the internal structure of the cell very clearly. This is because the cell membrane and most of the internal structures are beyond the high resolution of the LM. Electron microscopy, on
the other hand, magnifies cell organelles and enhances their resolution, making the interpretation of cell structure more precise and objective. However, there are limitations in the study of ultrastructure since only a very small section of the cell is viewed. Electron microscopy, as we all know, is laborious and
very time consuming and has been used widely in biomedical research since 1935. We were the first to study embryonic stem cells by TEM, a logical progression of our extensive research on human gametes, fertilization and embryos in IVF & ART. The reader is advised to study images of cells and tissues in semi- thin epoxy sections (LM).
This EBook (atlas) will be a valuable supplement to the numerous textbooks of histology, especially those with colour LMs of wax and epoxy sections. It covers the ultrastructure of the human cell, the basic tissues of the human body and some of the more important organs of the human body. It is specifically targeted to researchers involved in current stem cell research (both adult and embryonic).
Finally, this publication is not intended to be a complete atlas of human cells and tissues since there are several excellent publications for the advanced study of electron microscopy, a few listed in the references.