Bacillar means shaped like a rod, consisting of rods, or consisting of
elements that are rod-like. One obvious example would be the rods of the
eyes (see picture to the right). These rods are light-sensitive cells (shaped
like rods) that help in detecting motion and information in low light but they
are not sensitive to color (unlike the cone cells). Another example is the
mitochondria, which are rod-shaped bodies inside of cells that break down
simple substances to provide energy. The anthrax bacterium is technically
named Bacillus anthracis because it is rod-shaped when looked at under a
microscope. Anthrax is a type of biological infection.
Some patients have a rod-shaped device known as a stent placed in a tubular structure
of the body (such as a blood vessel) to open passageways that are closing. Some
surgeries involve placement of rods (often made of titanium) in the bones to stabilize the
area when treating a fracture.
Many people are also familiar with the Rod of Asclepius which is the symbol of
professional healthcare in the United States. The rod is surrounded by a serpent and was
wielded by the Greek god, Asclepius, who was associated with healing and medicine.
Bacillar is also known as bacillary.
Bacilliform and baculiform also means shaped like a rod. Bacillar comes from the Latin
word "bacillum" meaning "small rod."