∞ generated and posted on 2016.01.14 ∞

A film of microorganism that has been applied in a thin layer to a microscope slide.

The goal with a smear is to create not only adherent cells but also cells that are sufficiently abundant that that they are easily found under the microscope, but not so abundant that, other than arrangements of cells, they are not found jumbled on top of each other. The latter not only makes it difficult to observe individual cell morphologies but also can interfere with staining in ways that can create misleading results.

See also smear test.