Simple squamous epithelium

A simple squamous epithelium is a single layer of flat cells in contact with the basal lamina (one of the two layers of the basement membrane) of the epithelium.[1] This type of epithelium is often permeable and occurs where small molecules need to pass quickly through membranes via filtration or diffusion. Simple squamous epithelia are found in capillaries, alveoli, glomeruli, and other tissues where rapid diffusion is required.[2] Cells are flat with flattened and oblong nuclei. It is also called pavement epithelium due to its tile-like appearance. This epithelium is associated with filtration and diffusion. This tissue is extremely thin, and forms a delicate lining. It offers very little protection.

Simple squamous epithelium
Schematic view of simple squamous epithelium
Anatomical terminology


  1. Jason Yazbek (2012), Simple Squamous Epithelium, retrieved 2012-09-14
  2. AAMC - 2015 MCAT Question Pack Explanations
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