In this clip the structure and function of a ciliated epithelial cell is described. Cilia are tiny hair like structures on the surface of the cell. The hairs sweep hair, mucus, trapped dust and bacteria up to the back of the throat where it can be swallowed.

First broadcast:
29 March 2001

Students could use this clip to relate structure to function by making a list of the specialised features of the cells and writing their functions next to them. Pupils could discuss the damage that smoking can cause to the respiratory system by predicting what would happen if the cilia were paralysed or damaged by smoking. Pupils could further research a disease caused by smoking, such as chronic bronchitis or emphysema and look at the extent to which the damage of the cilia contributed to this disease.