Scanning Microscopy


The hairy skin of important domesticated mammals (12 species) was studied with scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, laser scanning microscopy, and several light microscopical methods, to obtain more information about three-dimensional elastic fibre arrangement. It was obvious that there is a basic construction scheme of the elastic fibre meshwork as present in the upper and mid-dermis, with special regard to the size, number, and grouping of hair follicles. In the densely-haired species, in particular, a typical elastic mat with horizontal fibres is formed. In many of the sparsely-haired animals, the upper and mid-dermis show a sponge-like elastic system. In the rather massive, collagen-rich skin of large species, the lower two thirds of the dermis without hair follicles only possess a loosely-structured elastic network, but thick elastic sheets are found at the border zone with the hypodermis.

Specific features appear with regard to the type of mechanical strain exerted, different body regions, varying hair follicle density, or as connected with the anchoring of the hair follicle complex, blood vessels, and nerves.

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