Cytology History

Cytology History

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Hooke: Pioneer in Cytology Studies


Cytology is one of the areas of biology that took the longest to develop. This happened because the cells are not visible to the naked eye, so this science depended on the development of an instrument capable of enlarging and enabling the visualization of cells. Although the microscope was invented in the late 16th century, it was not until the second half of the 17th century that research and discoveries began in the area of ​​Cell Biology.

Cytology History

- The pioneer in cell research was the English scientist Robert Hooke. It was he who, in 1665, made the first observation of a cell by examining a piece of cork under his microscope. It was also he who first used the term “cell” to refer to the spaces he had observed in cork.

- In the nineteenth century, cytology presented great advances and discoveries, with the improvement of microscopes. In 1838, German botanist Matthias Schleiden, considered the founder of Cell Theory, was able to prove the existence of cells in plants.

As early as 1839, German physiologist Theodor Schwann, considered the father of Modern Histology, was able to show that humans also had cells.

- In 1858, another major breakthrough in Cell Biology took place. German pathologist Rudolf Ludwig Karl Virchow came to the conclusion that the cells give rise to other cells.


Hooke used the term cell, for the spaces he had observed in cork resembled the priests' quarters (celdas).

- Electron microscopes are the most advanced and powerful, being able to enlarge a cell up to 100 thousand times.