The bulbous corpuscle, Ruffini ending or Ruffini corpuscle is a slowly adapting mechanoreceptor located in the cutaneous tissue between the dermal papillae and the hypodermis. It is named after Angelo Ruffini.

Ruffini ending
Nerve ending of Ruffini.
Part ofSkin
Latincorpusculum sensorium fusiforme
TEcorpuscle_by_E5. E5.
Anatomical terminology



Ruffini corpuscles are enlarged dendritic endings with elongated capsules.[1]

Ruffini corpuscle from original slide sent by Ruffini to Sir Charles Sherrington[2]



This spindle-shaped receptor is sensitive to skin stretch, and contributes to the kinesthetic sense of and control of finger position and movement.[3] They are at the highest density around the fingernails where they act in monitoring slippage of objects along the surface of the skin, allowing modulation of grip on an object. [citation needed]

Ruffini corpuscles respond to sustained pressure[4] and show very little adaptation.[5]

Ruffinian endings are located in the deep layers of the skin, and register mechanical deformation within joints, more specifically angle change, with a specificity of up to 2.75 degrees, as well as continuous pressure states. They also act as thermoreceptors that respond for a long time, so in case of deep burn there will be no pain, as these receptors will be burned off.[6]


  1. ^ "8". Ganong's Review of Medical Physiology (23rd ed.). TATA McGraw-Hill Lange. 2010. p. 150. ISBN 978-0-07-067722-7.
  2. ^ Molnár Z, Brown RE., 2010. Insights into the life and work of Sir Charles Sherrington. Nat Rev Neurosci. 11(6):429-36
  3. ^ Mountcastle, Vernon C. (2005). The Sensory Hand: Neural Mechanisms of Somatic Sensation. Harvard University Press. p. 34.
  4. ^ "8". Ganong's Review of Medical Physiology (23rd ed.). TATA McGraw-Hill Lange. 2010. p. 150. ISBN 978-0-07-067722-7.
  5. ^ Arthur c. Guyton; John E. Hall. "47". Guyton & Hall Pocket Companion to Textbook of Medical Physiology (10 ed.). p. 362. ISBN 81-8147-057-5.
  6. ^ Hamilton, Nancy (2008). Kinesiology: Scientific Basis of Human Motion. McGraw-Hill. pp. 76–7.