Cheek Epithelial Cells
Purpose: The purpose of this lab investigation is to study an example of an animal cell. Cells from the inner lining of the cheek are easy to obtain for such a study.
Materials and Methods: For this experiment, the student will need a clean glass slide, cover slip, toothpick, a microscope, lens paper, and a dropper of methylene blue. Use the blunt end of the toothpick to scrap the inner lining of your cheek. Wash the cellular material from the toothpick onto a clean slide with one drop of methylene blue. Lower the cover slip over the drop carefully to avoid air bubbles.
Experiment: Examine the slide on low power first, and then switch to high power. Your cell at high power should resemble the drawing below. Select a cell on your wet mount and locate its cell membrane, cytoplasm, and nucleus. Labels those parts on the model below.
If this cell represents a typical animal cell, in what ways is it different from a typical plant cell?
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