What Is the Function of Ciliated Epithelium Cells?

The function of ciliated epithelial cells is to move secretions and foreign bodies away with a certain direction of rapid, wave-like motions from the hair-like structures that cover their free surfaces, according to MicrobiologyBytes. These hair-like structures are called cilia.

MicrobiologyBytes explains some of the places where ciliated epithelial cells are found. Within the brain, ciliated epithelium cells move cerebral spinal fluid. Within the oviduct, these cells transport the egg from the ovary to the uterus. In the respiratory tract, ciliated epithelial cells move mucous that contains dust and bacteria out of the body.

According to Education Portal, without properly functioning ciliated epithelial cells, foreign bodies lodge in our respiratory tract and cause illness. Wikipedia states that within the respiratory tract is a layer of cells known as the ciliated pseudostratified columnar epithelium. The cells within this layer are of three types: ciliated cells, goblet cells and basal cells. As explained above, ciliated epithelial cells move substances in a particular direction. Goblet cells, which are shaped like a wine goblet, produce and secrete mucous that traps bacteria and other foreign bodies within the airways of the respiratory tract. Basal cells are able to become different types of cells within the epithelium as required. This cell layer is called pseudostratified because, though there are three different types of cells in it giving the appearance of stratification, they actually form only one layer.