Squamous epithelial cells serve a few functions. These cells protect underlying tissues. They form a barrier between the body and the exterior environment. A simple squamous epithelial cell in nephrons of the kidneys enable rapid filtration of diffusion and blood of small molecules. Squamous epithelial cells of the lungs help reduce friction and control vessel permeability. They also aid in absorption and filtration. Squamous epithelial cells can have one layer, which is the simple form, or a stratified form with multiple layers.
Squamous epithelial cells are the most abundant cells in urine specimens. These cells are flat, with usually an irregular or angular outline. They have a small, thin nucleus with fine, granular cytoplasm. These types of cells may be seen as variably-sized clusters, or as single cells scattered around the specimen.
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