• Kevin Mackenzie, University of Aberdeen
  • Digital Images
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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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Bone. Kevin Mackenzie, University of Aberdeen. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). Source: Wellcome Collection.

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This image shows the cross section and arrangement of osteons and Haversian canals in the bovine bone cortex. Bone is made up of two types of tissue: the compact bone forms a shell around the spongy cancellous bone that makes up the marrow space in the centre. Compact bone provides strength and rigidity and is composed of a layered matrix of organic substances and inorganic salts that form around an intricate network of vasculature called Haversian canals (named after the scientist Clopton Havers) shown in blue. Together with the layers of compact bone, they form units called osteons. The tiny blue cells are the osteocytes, or living bone cells that are constantly renewed to make up new bone tissue.

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