Magnifying Mucus: A Sticky Situation

Magnifying Mucus: A Sticky Situation

Collections: Now On Display, Image Award Winners

2024 Award Winner

Corey A. Stevens, Luc E. Picard, Chris Viets, Abigail Lytton-Jean, David Mankus, Angela Belcher

Koch Institute at MIT, MIT Department of Biological Engineering

Mucus might seem icky, but it is super important. As a first line of defense, it coats all the places in our bodies not covered by skin, such as our airways, digestive system, reproductive tract, and even our eyes—a total area larger than a house!

This mucus image is part of a Belcher Lab study of our natural defenses and how they interact with various substances or pathogens, like microplastics or infectious microbes, to provide a better picture of environmental health impacts and improve disease prevention strategies.

A black and white image of a fine, spongy lattice


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