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Mucus ( Latin “mucus”) is a viscous organic secretion , especially from mucous membranes , which usually serves to protect the organ surface from drying out, foreign particles or abrasion. Slime can also serve to encapsulate and encapsulate unwanted foreign bodies . The main structural components of mucus are the mucins .

Function in humans

As a sticky substance, mucus covers the epithelia as an organ-specific, protective covering. The thickness of the mucus in healthy people varies between 200 and 500 µm, depending on the organ, with the exception of the eye .

The mucus has a different protective function in different mucous membranes:

Examples of function in the animal world


Biofilms with bacteria sometimes appear in the form of slime. In stored diesel oil, in sewage pipes, in the flower vase, in a cave with methane and iodine as an energy source.

Fluid physics / rheology

Slimes are typical, non-Newtonian liquids with a gel character that can be "liquefied" by vigorous stirring.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Muzine in the field of ENT medicine. In: HNO , 2002 , 50 (3), 209-216, doi: 10.1007 / s001060100549 .
  2. Birgit Ellinger: Living "Alien Slime" delighted Höhlenforscher, November 7, 2014, accessed November 26, 2016.