Ciliated Epithelium: Function, Structure & Diagram

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  • 0:01 Definition
  • 0:50 Where Is Ciliated Epithelium?
  • 1:13 Why Is This Tissue Important?
  • 1:40 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Laura Enzor

Laura has a Master's degree in Biology and is working on her PhD in Biology. She specializes in teaching Human Physiology at USC.

In this lesson, you'll learn about what ciliated epithelial tissue is and where it is located. You'll also discover why it is important to our health and see diagrams of this tissue.


Ciliated Epithelial Tissue

What happens when you catch a cold? Or when you breathe in dust? You sneeze, right? Ciliated epithelium tissue prompts your sneeze and also helps keep you healthy in other important ways.

First, let's break this down a bit. What are cilia, and what is epithelium? Cilia are hair-like structures that sit on top of a tissue. They wave back and forth to help move things. Epithelium is a tissue type. This is typically a very thin tissue that covers structures. The best example of epithelial tissue is the human skin.

So, why are these structures important? When you breathe in something like dust - a particle that shouldn't be in your lungs - the cilia that line your respiratory tract catch these particles and move them out, triggering a sneeze.

Where Is Ciliated Epithelium?

So you definitely have ciliated epithelium in the lining of your respiratory tract, or the tubes that lead into your lungs, but where else is it found? We also find it in the fallopian tubes of women. These are the tubes that connect the ovary (where the eggs are kept) to the uterus (where the egg is fertilized). The cilia help move an egg from the ovary into the uterus each month.

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