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Human Cheek Cells 


1 popsicle stick (A-Stab)

1 water dropper

1 microscope

4 toothpicks

3 regular slides

methylene blue stain

3 cover slips

eosin Y stain


Procedure A:

1. Place a small drop of water on a glass slide.

2. Collect some of your cheek cells (Zellen der Mundschleimhaut): rub the popsicle stick along the inside of your cheek. Then touch the end of the stick to the water so that some of the cell material from the inside of your cheeks ends up in the water on the slide.

3. Put a cover slip over the slide.

4. Examine the slide under the microscope. (You may have to be patient and move the slide around while focusing the microscope, because the cells are very small and hard to find.)

5. Sketch a few cells, and label the plasma membrane, nucleus, and cytoplasm.


Procedure B:

Prepare a second slide like the first one, except with this one place a tiny bit of the red eosin Y stain on the slide with a toothpick before putting on the cover slip. Draw a cell and note down your observations.


Procedure C:

Prepare a third slide. This time use the methylene blue stain on the slide before putting on the cover slip. Draw a cell and note down your observations.



1. Which structures can you observe in the human cheek cell?

2. Describe the difference between the unstained cells and the different types of stained cells.





The Mad Scientist Small Things Glossary

Cell: The smallest, independent unit of living matter.

Cytoplasm: Substance that fills all cells.

Epithelial cell: For example a human skin cell.

Hypothesis: An assumption that needs to be verified; a guess or theory used to temporarily explain something.

Membrane: The outside part that surrounds all cells, both animal and plant.

Nucleus: A complex structure within a living cell, controlling how the cell reproduces and works.

Organelle: Parts of the cell that have a specific purpose or function.

Procedure: A description as to how to perform some task.