The discovery of the capsula glomerularis.

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The capsula glomerularis (known also as “Bowman’s capsule”) is a cup-like structure at the beginning of the tubular part of the nephron in the mammalian kidney that performs the first step in the filtration of blood to form urine[1].


The English surgeon, histologist and anatomist William Bowman discovered[2] the capsula glomerularis after trying to understand the structure and function of the renal corpuscle as there were multiple differing understandings about it at that time. After learning of a new injection method, he injected potassium chromate and lead acetate (which formed lead chromate, a yellow compound) in the renal artery of a kidney and observed it rupture the glomerulus and present itself in a structure and nearby tubules. That structure was the capsula glomerularis. Here is a labelled photomicrograph[3] of a renal corpuscle with the capsula glomerularis (Bowman’s capsule) clearly visible:

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Here is a portrait[4] of William Bowman:

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  2., pages 57-60.
  3. products-and-resources/pathology-for-urologists/normal-histology-and-important-histo-anatomic-structures/kidney-renal-corpuscle-(glomerulus)
  4. 101410722-img