noun, plural: canaliculi
(anatomy) Any of many small canals or ducts in the body, such as in the bone, or in some plants
In anatomy, a canaliculus is a small canal or duct or passageway in the body. It is used in the following terms:
- Bone canaliculus. It is a small channel in ossified bone, particularly between the lacunae of ossified bone. It is where the filopodia of osteocytes project into. The osteocytes are able to distribute materials from adjacent blood vessels throughout the bone matrix via the bone canaliculi.
- Lacrimal canaliculus. It pertains to any of the many small ducts in the eyelids.
- Dental canaliculus. It is one of the many minute tubules from the pulp toward the enamel or cementum. Dental canaliculi serve as passageway for blood, and therefore, are associated with the blood supply of a tooth.
- Bile canaliculus. This tubule is where the bile produced by the hepatocytes is collected.
Another derived term is canaliculitis. The latter is a condition wherein the canaliculus is inflamed.
Word origin: Latin canāliculus (small channel, pipe or gutter), Ancient Greek kánna (“reed”)
- canal (anatomy)