Difference between Ciliated Epithelial Cells and Squamous Epithelial Cells

Epithelial tissues are the shield on your body between the interior and exterior of an organism. They form the linings of your throat, blood vessels, intestines, and organs. They form the skin on our bodies. Based on their structure, location and functions, they are divided into squamous, cuboidal and columnar cells. Cilia are extensions on the cell membrane that are supported by microtubules. They are found in columnar and cuboidal cells. Let us look at the differences between ciliated epithelial cells and squamous epithelial cells.

Ciliated Epithelial Cells

Squamous Epithelial Cells


Ciliated epithelial cells are a group of cells that are covered by hair-like projections called cilia.

Squamous epithelial cells are layers of cells that are flat in shape.


Found in areas, such as the respiratory tract, urinary tracts, etc.

It is found on skin surfaces, lining of blood vessels and oesophagus.

It is mainly found in passages that open in the external environment.

It is mainly found in the inner linings of the body.


Its main function is to secrete mucus and pass fluids easily over the epithelial surfaces.

It protects the body against the outside environment, and helps to move fluids through absorption or diffusion.

Read about squamous epithelial cells in detail here.

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Frequently Asked Questions


How is a ciliated epithelial cell different from a squamous epithelial cell?

The main difference between ciliated and squamous epithelial cells is in the presence of cilia in ciliated cells, and the absence of the same in squamous cells.


Do squamous epithelial cells have cilia?

No, squamous epithelial cells do not have cilia.


What is the difference between squamous and columnar?

The main difference between squamous and columnar epithelial cells is in the shape of their cells. While squamous cells have flat layers of cells, columnar cells have column-shaped cells.


What is the difference between simple squamous epithelium and stratified squamous epithelium?

The simple squamous epithelium contains a single layer of cells, whereas the stratified squamous epithelium contains layers of cells.


What do squamous cells do?

The primary function of the squamous cells is to provide a lining for the skin.


Are squamous and epithelial cells the same?

Epithelial cells are the shield between the external and internal surfaces of our bodies. Squamous cells are a type of epithelial cell. The other two types are cuboidal and columnar.


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