There are about fifteen to twenty incomplete C-shaped rings made of cartilage that reinforce the anterior and lateral sides of the trachea to protect and maintain the airway. The trachealis muscle connects the ends of the incomplete rings and contracts during coughing, reducing the size of the lumen of the trachea to increase the air flow rate.
|Illustration courtesy of Lord Akryl, NIH Cancer.gov.|
|Trachea captured with a FITC filter using the MT6200H Epi Fluorescent microscope.|
|Trachea captured with a TRITC filter using the MT6200H Epi Fluorescent microscope.|