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Contact area between blastomeres of a 12-cell embryo

SEM of disaggregated blastomeres of a stage 2, 12-cell embryo in vitro on post-insemination day 4. Flattened, microvilli-free area with distinct borders is present at sites of contact between cells. Small cytoplasmic blebs are frequently present at sites of contact. The free surfaces of the blastomeres are covered with dense microvilli. Zona pellucida was removed mechanically.

From: Nikas et al., 1996. Reproduced with permission of the publisher, John Wiley & Sons.

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Keywords: blastomere, cytoplasmic blebs, microvilli, twelve-cell embryo, zona pellucida

Source: The Virtual Human Embryo.