# What is the number of cells in a line of a fingerprint?

I have been reading a little about the size of cells and was curious as to how small they really were.

I have noticed that on my finger, the outlines of the fingerprint are made up of thin lines. In fact, some of them are so thin that I have difficulty imagining anything thinner I can make out with the naked eye.

I have read that the naked eye has a resolution of 0.1 millimeters = 100 micrometers, whereas eukaryotic cells range in diameter of 10 - 100 micrometers.

Putting this information together, would it be reasonable to conclude that the lines on my fingers have a width ranging from 1 - 10 skin cells? Is there any satisfactory method to verify this without fancy equipment? Is it even true?

P.S.

Are there also more scientific names for these "finger lines" so that I can look it up somewhere? Googling "finger lines" brings up a lot of stuff about palm reading.

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Are you just asking how large is a typical cell? – kmm Mar 15 '12 at 4:01
I think the scientific term is friction ridges – nico Mar 15 '12 at 6:32
@Kevin More or less. But it doesn't have to be as large as "a tpyical cell". I am looking for something encountered in everyday life that I can use as a ballpark to compare with other things. I have heard stuff about how "so and so" many cells could fit in the tip of a needle, but it seems silly to think that way because a metal needle doesn't have any cells. – math4tots Mar 15 '12 at 18:06
@math4tots I agree that the needle isn't a great size reference because the size of the tip isn't an "everyday life" kind of thing. However, I don't see why something has to be made up of cells to act as a reference for judging the size of cells. scaleofuniverse.com might be interesting to you for relating magnitudes of scale. Make sure to catch the human blood cells (~10 micrometers) between the micrometer and millimeter markers. – yamad Mar 16 '12 at 14:59