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Histology, microscopy, anatomy and disease
Histology, microscopy, anatomy and disease

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3 Putting it into practice

The final activity this week you will investigate three sample sections.

This is an opportunity for you to put into practice what you’ve learned this week about identifying types of tissue and will increase your familiarity with the virtual microscope.

Activity 6

Open the virtual microscope [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] in a new window or tab. Find Slides 15–17 from the ‘Week 2’ slide set.

For each slide, answer the questions and then click to reveal the answer.

Slide 15

  • What is the tissue in Slide 15?
  • Does the tissue in Slide 15 appear normal?
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Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Answer

This tissue is from a normal lung, and it was seen earlier this week. Notice the open structure of the alveoli where gas exchange takes place, which is a characteristic of a normal lung.

This section was included to see how well you can recognise a tissue from its histological appearance. Remember that even in a histopathology laboratory it is just as important to correctly identify normal tissues as it is to identify diseased tissue.

Slide 16

  • What is the tissue in Slide 16?
  • Does the tissue in Slide 16 appear normal?
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Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Answer

This section of skin includes an area of wound healing. The area of a skin wound contains so-called granulation tissue (8615, 861), consisting of newly-formed capillaries (8615, 1257), leukocytes (8939, 1000) and proliferating fibroblasts (10466, 826). The collagen (11114, 1293) in the dermis is still rather disorganised.

This section was included to see whether you could spot these changes in the skin, even if you could not work out what had caused them. Now that you know what these changes are, navigate to the coordinates above in the Virtual Microscope to see them for yourself.

Slide 17

  • What is the tissue in Slide 17?
  • Does the tissue in Slide 17 appear normal?
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Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Answer

This section has come from a person with cirrhosis of the liver. Cirrhosis of the liver is the result of chronic liver damage, which is caused by, for example, alcohol abuse.

The section shows broad bands of fibrosis (7450, 3650), which are areas of connective tissue with extracellular matrix proteins and fibroblasts. These broad bands of fibrosis are separating the lobules (5385, 3650), in which the hepatocytes show fatty change (5550, 3360).

Nodules (8226, 4081) of regenerating liver cells may be present, but the fibrosis disrupts the normal blood flow through the liver from the portal vein to the hepatic vein.