There are over 200 different types of cells within the human body. These cells all vary in size, shape and diameter. Most cells range between ten and fifteen micrometers in diameter, however, some cells, such as the human egg cell, are much larger than this, with a diameter of roughly 100 micrometers. The human eggs cell is just barely visible to the naked eye. Some of the longest cells include nerve cells, which can be as long as a meter, but are so thin, they are invisible to the naked eye. Cells, although they range in size and shape, cannot become too large, or they may become unable to support their own functions, or could burst.
Cells are found in many different shapes and sizes. Some of the most common cell shapes include; squamous, cuboidal, columnar, polygonal, spheroid, discoid, fusiform and fibrous.
Squamous cells are thin and flat, with a slight bulge where the nucleus lies. These cells are commonly compared to the appearance of a fried egg. These cells are most abundant in the skin and the lining of the esophagus.
Polygonal cells, much like their name implies, are polygonal in shape, with five or more sides. Sometimes these sides are elongated in such a manner that they form a stellate, or star-like shape.
Cuboidal cells are square-like in shape and are typically as tall as they are wide. This type of cell is commonly found in the liver.
Columnar cells are similar to cuboidal cells, however, they are taller than they are wide. This type of cell is commonly found in the lining of the intestines.
Spheroid cells, sometimes referred to as ovoid cells, range from circular to ovular. Examples of spheroid and ovoid cells include fat cells and human egg cells.
Discoid cells are shaped much like a disc, or a frisbee. An example of a discoid cell includes red blood cells.
Fusiform cells are often thought of as spindle-shaped; thick in the center and tapered at the ends. These cells make up the smooth muscles.
Fibrous cells are long and thread like, without any area larger than another. The skeletal muscles are composed of fibrous cells.
Saladin, Kenneth S.. Anatomy & physiology: the unity of form and function. 5th ed. Dubuque: McGraw-Hill, 2010. Print.
Centre of the Cell
Shapes of Cells