This image looks like it could the a colourful underwater coral reef or a child's breakfast cereal strewn across the floor. But it is, in fact, what a blood clot looks like if you zoom right in.
The image, called The Clot Thickens, is the winner of The British Heart Foundation's annual Reflections of Research image competition. It was captured by Fraser Macrae, a researcher in the School of Medicine at the University of Leeds in the UK. The BHF explains what you can see:
This image shows a blood clot in close detail. The thick grey mesh is the clot, capturing a mixture of different cells -- seen in different colours. A black and white image was first produced using a scanning electron microscope and then the different types of cells were highlighted in different colours. Red blood cells are seen in red, platelets in turquoise and an assortment of white blood cells are shown in purple, blue, green and yellow.
Fraser's research is focussed on understanding how clots are formed in the body. He hopes that the findings will help save the lives of those susceptible to life-threatening cardiovascular conditions in the future.
Picture: Fraser Macrae/BHF