False-colour SEM of epithelium in the oesophagus

False-colour SEM of epithelium in the oesophagus

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Caption: False-colour scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the epithelium in the oesophagus. Individual epithelial cells are seen here, each with a highly folded surface. These microfolds are called micro- plicae. At lower centre left, an obvious boundary to one cell can be seen. This stratified squamous epithelium consists of flattened cells that occur many layers thick. As a muscular non-absorptive tube, the oesophagus transports swallowed food to the stomach. The microfolds on the cells keep the oesophagus moist; trap mucous to lubricate passing food; and strengthen the epithelium against food abrasion. Magnification: x2,900 at 6x7cm size. Magnification: x4,650 at 4x5 inch size.

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Keywords: anatomy, digestion, digestive system, epithelium, esophagus, false-coloured, gut, human body, microplicae, mucosa, oesophagus

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