Scanning Microscopy


The vascularization of three different (A, B, C) skin regions (from the level of the heart to the cloaca including dorsal, lateral and ventral skin areas) of the Atlantic hagfish, Myxine glutinosa L. was studied by scanning electron microscopy of vascular corrosion casts. Vessel variables were measured either from semithin sections (diameters) or from vascular corrosion casts (diameters, lengths) and total blood capacities as well as vessel surfaces per unit skin area (mm2) were calculated. There are no significant differences in the number of subepidermal capillary meshes (ranging from 164 to 185 meshes per micrograph) in areas A, B or C nor in vessel lengths. The average vessel length per mm2 is 32 mm. Assuming an average diameter of 22.3 μm these vessels have an average surface of 2.24 mm2 and a volume of 12.5 nanoliters (nl). In contrary weighing two pieces ( 5 mm times 5 mm in size) of the whole skin vascular bed - knowing the density of the casting medium -results in only one fifth of that volume. Overestimation of vessel lengths and diameters by measuring casted structures from micrographs on the one hand and inaccuracies in weighing or dissection of casted skin pieces on the other hand are discussed as sources of observed differences.

Included in

Biology Commons