Search and destroy! This image shows us how an immune cell, called a macrophage, attacks foreign bodies like bacteria – or this microbead – completely engulfing it so it can be broken down deep within the cell.
Visualized using scanning electron microscopy by Darren Brown, University of Queensland. This image has been color enhanced.
Size: the bead is 3 micrometers across.
Molecules on the surface of foreign bodies signal danger to the macrophage cell, which attacks and swallows them. This helps keep the body free of infection – most of the time.
Credit: Australian Microscopy & Microanalysis Research Facility