A Macrophage is an irregularly shaped phagocyte that is amoeboid in nature and is the most versatile phagocyte in the body. Macrophages are found in two main forms, either stationary in the tissues, or free moving as a white blood cell.  Macrophages are formed from cells called monocytes in the bone marrow. Once the monocytes form in the bone marrow, they leave and enter the bloodstream to be carried to different tissues. Once in the tissues the monocytes can develop to become macrophages. Macrophages are found all throughout our body in almost all our tissues. Many macrophages are specialized to stay within certain tissues and have specific names. For example, the macrophages found in the liver are called Kupffer cells, and the macrophages found in the skin are called Langerhans cells. Macrophage’s main purpose is to protect the immune system from harmful diseases and pathogens, they are the immune system’s very first line of defense. This means that as soon as the body detects an invasion of a harmful substance, it triggers the release of macrophages to that area. It does this by having injured or damaged cells in the area release a chemical that attracts macrophages. The macrophages then travel and squeeze through the tissues and open spaces between blood vessels to get to the infected area. The macrophages then all meet up in groups in the infected area and work to move around and literally “consume” the pathogen and then kill it, a process called phagocytosis. The Macrophage connects to the pathogen through little arm-like structures and then draws the pathogen into itself until it has completely engulfed the pathogen. The macrophage then uses enzymes inside of it to digest and break down the pathogen inside of it, effectively killing it.

The image bellow is one demonstrating a macrophage going through the process of phagocytosis. The large blue cell represents the macrophage, and the smaller red structure represents harmful pathogen that invaded the body. The macrophage is reaching out and connecting to the pathogen and beginning to draw the pathogen into itself, to then break it down and kill it. In order to make this representation I handmade play dough and then dyed it different colors. I then assembled the dough in the shapes I wanted and waited for them to dry and harden to connect them and put my model together.