We know that cells have mitochondria, chromosomes and other organelles so that's why they are opaque but can you say how the cells present in the eye cornea are transparent and allow light to pass through?


Most cells are transparent, which is why we can see cells using bright-field microscopy, where the light travels through the cells before you see it. That's how we can see inside onion cells and see structures like onion cell nucleii, moss cells, human epithelial cells and animal mast cells.

The human cornea is made up of five layers, each of which have different structures allowing them to be transparent: the outer and inner epithelial layers are very thin and naturally pretty transparent, and the middle layers have collagen fibres; based on that Wikipedia article, it sounds like there are several hypotheses for why these layers are transparent, but it doesn't look like there's a definitive answer yet.

  • $\begingroup$ Actually it is made up of myelin sheath $\endgroup$ Feb 11 '17 at 9:31
  • $\begingroup$ Collagen is transparent as well --- just look at gelatin. Also, there are no blood vessels in the cornea. $\endgroup$
    – Roland
    Feb 11 '17 at 10:56
  • $\begingroup$ And probably the nuclei are so small, compared to the rest of the cell, that we just cannot see them. $\endgroup$
    – Rodrigo
    Mar 13 '17 at 3:30

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