CIE A Level Biology (9700) exams from 2022

Revision Notes

14.1.4 Nephron Structure

Nephron Structure

  • Each kidney contains thousands of tiny tubes, known as nephrons
  • The nephron is the functional unit of the kidney – the nephrons are responsible for the formation of urine
  • There is also a network of blood vessels associated with each nephron:
    • Within the Bowman’s capsule of each nephron is a structure known as the glomerulus
    • Each glomerulus is supplied with blood by an afferent arteriole (which carries blood from the renal artery)
    • The capillaries of the glomerulus rejoin to form an efferent arteriole
    • Blood then flows from the efferent arteriole into a network of capillaries that run closely alongside the rest of the nephron
    • Blood from these capillaries eventually flows into the renal vein

Exam Tip

As well as in diagrams, you should be able to identify the parts of the nephron described above in photomicrographs and electron micrographs too (examples of these can be found in your Cambridge International AS & A Level coursebook).

Author:

Alistair graduated from Oxford University in 2014 with a degree in Biological Sciences. He has taught GCSE/IGCSE Biology, as well as Biology and Environmental Systems & Societies for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. While teaching in Oxford, Alistair completed his MA Education as Head of Department for Environmental Systems and Societies.
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